THE Indian billionaire behind the controversial Carmichael coal mine in Australia is hitting back at criticism the endeavour will be both unprofitable and too dirty.
In an interview in New Delhi, Gautam Adani took aim at two major faults opponents have flung at the development: that the mine’s low-quality coal won’t earn enough money to justify his US$2 billion investment, and that the world must abandon the fuel in favour of renewable energy to avoid catastrophic climate change.
“If the project wasn’t viable, we wouldn’t have pursued it,” said Mr Adani, whose net worth of US$9.6 billion makes him India’s sixth-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. “Renewable energy is good for the nation, but it can’t meet our baseload power needs.”
Mr Adani bought the resource in Australia’s Galilee Basin in 2010 as Indian companies rushed for overseas energy supplies amid forecasts of booming demand.
But as coal prices fizzled through the first half of the decade, Carmichael’s output – closer to lower-quality Indonesian coal than the high-value varieties Australia is known for – is seen unable to fetch a price strong enough to be profitable.
For the rest of this article: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/indian-billionaire-defends-controversial-coal-mine-in-australia