India’s Adani has emphasised the importance of sourcing regional suppliers as part of the development of the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.
A final investment decision on the controversial Carmichael project is now imminent, with the development forecast to create hundreds of jobs in the state.
However, the project continues to face legal challenges attempting to block development of the mine, as well as widespread opposition from environmental groups, the business community and celebrities.
Speaking at a Bowen Basin Mining Club event last week, Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj highlighted the emerging business opportunities that the company has identified between Australia and India through the project.
Janakaraj described Australia as a natural fit with India as a strategic long-term partner for nation-building “especially since India needs to quadruple its power generation capacity over the coming years.”
“India also needs Australia’s agricultural capacity in growing lentils and pulses to feed our people, and we want to create regional jobs in Queensland. There are many of these projects which are important for both our countries,” Janakaraj said.
“Adani is a company of balance – we want to generate solar as well as coal-fired power. We operate the world’s largest solar plant in India, and we also want to be a leading renewable power supplier to Australia.”
Janakaraj said the frivolous legal challenges faced by the Carmichael project sent the wrong message for business confidence.
It’s important to us to communicate directly with the regional communities who will be impacted positively by this project
“They discredit Australia and its governance mechanisms to international businesses that are ready to invest in Australia. It’s important that we work together to eliminate any further delays, and that involves everyone from government through to suppliers,” Janakaraj added.
Adani will soon launch online supplier and jobs portals for the Carmichael project. The company expects the portals to open a direct link between suppliers, potential employees and the procurement teams on the rail, port and mine projects.
“It’s important to us to communicate directly with the regional communities who will be impacted positively by this project, and an online portal is the simplest and best way to do that,” Janakaraj said.
“This way, information about supply and employment opportunities will come effectively and directly from Adani or our Tier 1 contractors straight to the marketplace.
“Following this effective communication, enabling our potential regional suppliers is also important – Adani wants to invest in regional Queensland communities so they are fully equipped to take advantage of opportunities.”
Construction on the Carmichael project is set to start in the coming months, following a final investment decision.
Bowen Basin Mining Club director Jodie Currie welcomed Adani’s regional focus on procurement and employment as part of its larger regional content strategy.
“It’s easy to talk the talk when it comes to regional content, but the benefits to regional Queensland really come when a company like Adani launches concrete initiatives to engage with communities, businesses and industry,” Currie said.