Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility likely to fund coal rail line, but not coal mine itself

No coal projects being considered, says NAIF  http://www.afr.com/news/politics/no-coal-projects-being-considered-says-naif-20170922-gymmr4

The Turnbull government’s $5 billion Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility has never received a proposal to help fund a coal-fired power station since it was created two years ago.

While senior minister, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, continue to link the NAIF to funding a next-generation coal plant, it is understood the NAIF board has not assessed any proposal for a high-efficiency low emissions or a carbon capture and storage coal project.

When contacted by AFR Weekend, NAIF chief executive Laurie Walker would not comment on specific proposals, but confirmed the board was on track to announce the first round of funding from the project later this month.

The project would then be put to Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who has taken over the portfolio after resources minister Matt Canavan stood aside following doubts over his citizenship.

 Ms Walker said the NAIF board was now looking at 10 projects in due diligence, up from five projects a few months ago, based on 161 inquiries, and was on track to make a decision by the end of the month.

Some of the projects under consideration by the NAIF include a rail link to Adani’s $16.5 billion Carmichael mine in Central Queensland and Genex Power’s $823 million Kidston pumped hydro and solar project in North Queensland.

Other as yet undisclosed projects which have made it to the NAIF short-list include renewables, resources, transport and tourism, Ms Walker said.

 Despite the lack of coal projects which have applied for NAIF funding, the infrastructure funding body – established by former treasurer Joe Hockey after the 2015 budget – is constantly linked by senior ministers as a potential funding source for next-generation coal projects.

Mr Turnbull, on a three-day trip to Queensland marginal seats this week, specifically highlighted the NAIF as a way to get new coal projects across the line.

Once a decision by the NAIF board has been sent to the minister he has 21 days to decide whether to veto – a period which can be extended to 60 days.

Some of the projects under consideration by the NAIF include a rail link to Adani’s $16.5 billion Carmichael mine in Central Queensland and Genex Power’s $823 million Kidston pumped hydro and solar project in North Queensland.

Other as yet undisclosed projects which have made it to the NAIF short-list include renewables, resources, transport and tourism, Ms Walker said.

 Despite the lack of coal projects which have applied for NAIF funding, the infrastructure funding body – established by former treasurer Joe Hockey after the 2015 budget – is constantly linked by senior ministers as a potential funding source for next-generation coal projects.

Mr Turnbull, on a three-day trip to Queensland marginal seats this week, specifically highlighted the NAIF as a way to get new coal projects across the line.

The Queensland Liberal National Party has vowed to back a HELE coal project in the state if it wins the next election, which is due to be held later this year or early next year. But it says it wants it to be mostly privately funded.

Green Energy Markets director Tristan Edis said the concept of using taxpayer funding for a coal-fired power station in Queensland – which could cost between $2 billion and $5 billion – was not justified.

 “It doesn’t make environmental or economic sense, but it makes perfect political sense [for the LNP],” he said.

September 25, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

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