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May 29, 2012, 11.54 AM IST
The Queensland's Government in Australia has given environment clearance to infrastructure major GVK's USD 6.4 billion (over Rs 35,000 crore) Alpha Coal and rail Project in Galilee Basin.
According to a statement by GVK, the environmental clearance is a major achievement for the company and its Alpha Project is now the only Galilee Basin proponent with an approved Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Meanwhile, the Federal Minister for Environment of Australia is yet to complete the assessment of the project, according to a separate statement by Queensland government. The Alpha project is being run by Hancock Coal, 79% owned by GVK and 21% owned by Gina Rinehart, the world's richest woman.
The company's Chairman and Managing Director GVK Reddy said the development will pave the way for the Group to complete financing and secure final mining approvals for the Alpha Project in the second half of 2012.
"We remain committed to developing our world class projects in a timely and responsible manner and ultimately bring widespread benefits to this great state," Reddy said. Sanjay Reddy, Vice Chairman, GVK said the EIS is yet another milestone towards the goal and GVK believes it can provide the best quality coal to supply power to developing countries.
The Coordinator-General has approved environmental clearance to the mine with strict conditions and the move is a major step towards opening up the Galilee Basin's coal deposits, said Jeff Seeney, Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Queensland, in a separate.
"The proposal is for a 30 million tons per year open-cut coal mine and a 495km railway line from the mine to the Port of Abbot Point near Bowen and the project is expected to generate up to 3,600 construction jobs and 990 operational jobs," Seeney said.
Though the Coordinator-General completed the assessment, the Federal Minister for Environment of Australia is yet to complete his assessment under Commonwealth environmental legislation, the statement said.
Hancock Coal anticipates the construction period to occur between 2013 and 2016, subject to relevant approvals being granted for the project.
The expected life of the mine is 30 years, with Sufficient resources to potentially extend the project life beyond that time.
In 2011 GVK Hancock delivered the first (and only Galilee Basin) bulk samples from its Alpha site to power stations in South Korea and China.
The results of the trial burns (totalling approximately 100,000 tons) were better than anticipated.
The Alpha project (mine, rail and port) alone will create, during construction, over 4,000 jobs at peak, at the mine site 50 km north east of Alpha township, on the railway and at the port at Abbot Point, 25 km north of Bowen.
The USD 10 billion project will generate in the order of 1,800 permanent jobs for people across the mine, rail and port, GVK said in the statement.
Tags: GVK, Environmental Impact Statement, EIS, Australia, GVK Reddy, State Development, Infrastructure, Planning
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