Thousands of jobs expected for QLD as Abbot Point port approved

Gina Rinehart’s and GVK Hancock’s $10bn Alhpa Coal Project is one step closer to the construction phase after the Federal Government approved its Terminal 3 development at the Port of Abbot Point, near Bowen.

The massive Alpha Coal Project involves two coal mines in the Galilee Basin, a 495 km standard gauge railway line as well as the port facilities at Abbot Point.

GVK vice-chairman Sanjay Reddy says the company is “delighted with this decision.”

“We are the only coal developer in Australia to possess environmental approvals at a state and federal level that integrate the mine, rail and port brining to finalisation the Tier One environmental approvals that will significantly assist in the facilitation of opening up the Galilee Basin.”

The project is set to create 650 jobs during port construction while the combined Alpha mine rail and port project will provide 1800 on-going, intergenerational operational jobs and employ 4000 people during construction.

The company estimates that returns to government for each year of construction will exceed $1 billion.

The Alpha project is 79 per cent owned by Indian conglomerate GVK and 21 per cent owned by Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting.

While the Alpha project is now a step closer to reality, the Greens and Greenpeace have slammed the development's approval.

Both groups claim the project will see an unacceptable rise in ships passing the Great Barrier Reef.

They also claim the mine will adversely impact air quality and native flora and fauna.

Pending the finalisation of construction contracts and secondary approvals, construction for the projects it set to start next year with first production not expected until 2016.

Image: Gladstone Observer

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