Turnbull in India, for talks with Mr Adani, who will press him for $900 funding for coal project
Adani to press Turnbull on $900m boost during visit , THE AUSTRALIAN, DAVID CROWE, Political correspondent, Canberra, @CroweDM, 10 Apr 17, Malcolm Turnbull will be asked to seal a $900 million deal to clear the way for the mammoth Adani coal mine in central Queensland during his visit to India that also seeks to inject momentum into a trade deal between two countries.
The Prime Minister arrived in New Delhi last night for a three-day state visit that will include talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, meetings with business leaders and a focus on the country’s demand for energy.
The $21 billion coal project towers over other items on the agenda, with Adani pushing for action within months on financing agreements and regulatory hurdles. Its Carmichael mine is being opposed by green groups in the courts and on the ground.
“We’ll certainly be talking about the importance of energy exports to India,” Mr Turnbull said before flying to New Delhi from Port Moresby, where he concluded a two-day visit yesterday morning. “India has a massive program of expanding electrification across the country and Australian coal has a very big role to play in that.”
Adani founder Gautam Adani told Indian media last month the company was eligible for $900m from the Turnbull government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund to build the rail line from the mine to the company’s port at Abbot Point.
The backing from the fund, which uses federal guarantees to finance commercial projects, will help Adani limit its equity contribution to the rail project to about $800m of a total investment of about $2.5bn in the next two years, with the rest coming from debt and the NAIF.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk met Mr Adani in Mumbai last month and announced most approvals had been concluded for the project. At the same function, Mr Adani said he expected final approval from the federal government by May.
Mr Turnbull is expected to see Mr Adani during the visit after meeting him at least twice, in November 2015 and December 2016, when the billionaire pushed for more help to get the mine open.
After the 2015 meeting, Mr Adani said he had pressed Mr Turnbull to legislate to stop environmental groups delaying the project in the courts. The Abbott government’s attempt to amend the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to stop “vigilante” activists was stymied in the Senate a month before Mr Turnbull became Prime Minister.
Writing in The Australian today, Mr Turnbull emphasises the opportunities for Australia as the Indian economy grows, increasing demand for Australia….. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/adani-to-press-turnbull-on-900m-boost-during-visit/news-story/6beae575a49aacfad4d51eca3dfe0846
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