Berth 14 coal export terminal, Bunbury

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{{#badges: CoalSwarm|Navbar-Australiacoal}}The Berth 14 coal export terminal is a proposed coal export terminal by India-based Lanco Infratech for Bunbury port in western Australia. Lanco is the parent company of Griffin Coal, which Lanco acquired in March 2011. The terminal would facilitate the export of 15 million tonnes of coal a year from the company's two major Western Australian coal mines, the Muja Mine and the Ewington Mine.

Financial problems at Lanco Group due to low import coal demand continue to cast doubt over the port's development prospects. In December 2017, Lanco Group said Griffin Coal Mine in Australia is no longer a Lanco company, as Lanco's lenders took over the pledged shares as a result of default of payment. Lanco Infratech is under insolvency proceedings.[1]

Location

The terminal is proposed for Bunbury port in western Australia.

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Project Details

  • Owner: Lanco Infratech
  • Location: Bunbury, Bunbury Port, Western Australia
  • Proposed Annual Capacity (Tonnes): 15 million
  • Status: Shelved
  • Projected in service:
  • Type: Exports (India)
  • Proposed coal sources: Muja Mine and the Ewington Mine, Australia
  • Cost: US$500 million
  • Financing:

Background

In March 2011 Lanco Infratech Ltd bought the Griffin Coal Mining Co. Pty Ltd’s coal mines in Western Australia for A$750 million. The report stated that "Lanco plans to boost almost four-fold to over 15 million tonnes per annum, in addition to adding rail linkages, and expanding facilities at Bunbury port." The coal, aside from that produced domestically, would be exported to feed Lanco's proposed major increase in coal-fired power plants it owns and operates in India.[2]

In early August 2011 Lanco Infratech representative met with the West Australian Premier Colin Barnett. According to a report in the West Australian, the meeting was to discuss the company's "hopes to complete an expansion of Bunbury Port's inner harbour by the end of 2013 to allow it to start exporting coal to India" after a tripling of production from the Collie coal mines.[3]

It has been reported that Lanco has also floated the idea of exporting coal through the port of Albany. However, Albany Port Authority chief executive Brad Williamson stated that he knew nothing about the option. Local political representatives discounted the suggestion as Lanco trying to improve its bargaining position in negotiations with the State government.[4]

In early September 2011 Lanco announced that it planned to spend up to $400 million upgrading Berth 14 at the Bunbury Port to allow coal exports from Collie in 2014.[5] Lanco's proposal for coal exports involves the construction of a "a new rail loop and dump station as shown per Bunbury Port Authority, Bunbury Inner Harbour, Future Planning Options and Planning concepts."[6] The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority states that, as of August 3, 2011, an Environmental Scoping Document is currently being prepared by the agency.[7]

In mid-July 2013, Western Australia's Environmental Protection Authority gave provisional approval to Lanco's plans for an export facility at Bunbury port capable of handling 15 million tons of coal annually.[8][9]

In June 2014, Western Australia's Environment Minister Albert Jacob granted final approval for the US$500 million Bunbury export terminal project. Responding to approval of the port facility, Lanco Australia's project development manager David Trench confirmed Lanco's intention to quadruple production at its Western Australia mines and transport coal from the mines to the port via an existing 74km railway line, to be upgraded by Lanco. Construction was expected to start in mid-2015, with the first exports planned for 2017.[10]

However, as of October 2014, financial problems at Lanco - whose debts were estimated at US$5.9 billion - had prompted the company to seek outside investors to purchase a stake in its Australian mining and port ventures.[11][12]

In December 2014, Lanco's debt problems led to a cancellation of its long-standing export agreement with Fremantle Ports for use of the Kwinana Bulk Terminal in Western Australia, leaving the company with no clear channel for exporting coal from its Australian ventures.[13]

Lanco's insolvency, coupled with a November 2014 statement from India's Energy Minister Piyush Goyal that India would seek to stop coal imports "possibly within the next two or three years," have cast doubt over the feasibility of advancing the Berth 14 project at Bunbury.[14][15]

Resources

Articles and resources

References

  1. "'Griffin Coal Mine no longer a subsidiary of Lanco'," The Hindu, Dec 24, 2017
  2. "Lanco Infratech seals $760 mn Griffin buy", The Financial Express, March 4, 2011.
  3. Amanada Saunders, "WA power dispute snares Indian billionaire", West Australian, August 5, 2011.
  4. Daniel Mercer, "Albany port of choice for coal?", Albany Advertiser, August 24, 2011.
  5. Sofi Lawson, "Plan for port revealed", Collie Mail, September 8, 2011.
  6. Parsons Brinckerhoff Australia, "Referral of Proposal - Bunbury Port Berth 14 Development for Coal Storage and Loading Facility Referral Supporting Document", April 2011.
  7. Environmental Protection Authority, Status of Active Formal Assessments, Environmental Protection Authority, August 3, 2011.
  8. "Lanco unit Griffin gets nod for Australian coal facility", The Economic Times, July 17, 2013.
  9. "EPA recommends approval for new Bunbury Port berth and coal export facility", Media Release, July 17, 2013.
  10. "$500 million WA coal export facility approved", ABC, June 26, 2014.
  11. "India's Lanco in talks to sell stake in Griffin coal mine", Reuters, October 10, 2014.
  12. "Trouble for Griffin Coal Mine as Lanco plans sale", Australian Mining, October 14, 2014.
  13. Daniel Mercer, "Griffin's export plans in turmoil", The West Australian, December 12, 2014.
  14. "The imminent failure of Lanco Infratech’s investment in Griffin Coal", Reneweconomy, December 3, 2014.
  15. "Christmas crisis for hundreds of jobs: Coal chaos explained", Planet Bunbury, December 3, 2014.

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