Adani selects Townsville and Rockhampton as Carmichael FIFO hubs

India’s Adani has chosen Townsville and Rockhampton as the Queensland cities to host the fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) hubs for the Carmichael coal operation in the Galilee Basin.

Adani, which last year named the two cities on a shortlist for the FIFO hubs, approved development of the $16.5 billion operation in June.

The company said the two cities delivered strong individual business cases to “fly solo” as Carmichael’s FIFO hub, but would instead be the twin marshalling points for the project.

Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj said the FIFO decision had been difficult, describing both cities as winners.

“Rockhampton and Townsville put in commercially strong and competitive bids to be the single FIFO hub for the Carmichael project,” Janakaraj said.

“The bottom line for Adani was the size of the workforce needed, both in the construction stage and the operational stage, as well as our commitment to generate jobs across regional Queensland.

“The construction and operational stages will trigger 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in central and north Queensland over the life of the mine.”

Adani recently launched pre-construction works at Carmichael, including refurbishment of the mining camp. It has named Downer as Carmichael’s mining contractor and has also awarded contracts worth more than $150 million for rail lines and sleepers.

Janakaraj declared the Carmichael project under way after eight years of challenge. He said the company’s progress signalled “the opening of the Galilee Basin, which will drive the growth of the emerging Asian ‘Tiger’ economies, including India.

“We continue to face activists but we are under way. Recent attempts by activists to disrupt our operations, and TV programs aimed at undermining community support, have failed,” Janakaraj said.

Adani set up its regional headquarters in Townsville during June. According to the Queensland Government, the Indian company has also committed to establishing a remote operations centre in Townsville, rail and port operations headquarters in Bowen, a mining services base in Mackay, and a rail maintenance and provisioning yard in the Mackay-Bowen region.

Coralee O’Rourke, the Minister assisting the state’s Premier in North Queensland, welcomed the news from Adani.

“Our focus has been to maximise the jobs it will generate, directly and indirectly, and see the benefits from this project spread right across regional Queensland,” O’Rourke said.

The Minister added that the coal and rail project would provide a boost for jobs and the economy in North Queensland, while also ensuring strict environmental protections.

“There are now almost 270 strict conditions on this project to protect the natural environment and the interests of landholders and traditional owners,” O’Rourke said.