Australia, the world's biggest coal exporter and is a vital source of coal supply for power plants in India. India's Adani Group is preparing to ship the first coal cargo from Australia's Carmichael mine in outback Queensland state after resisting a seven-year campaign by climate activists and defying a global push away from fossil fuels.
10 million tonnes per annum of coal will be produced at the Carmichael Mine. The coal will be exported from a terminal at Abbot Point, which Adani bought for $2 billion in 2011 and renamed North Queensland Export Terminal. Analysts said it made sense for Adani to dig the mine to help it make back the massive investment on the coal terminal, which has run nearly half-empty since Adani acquired it.
"It's about maximising your cash flow returns on the railway line and maximising your profits on Abbot Point," said Tim Buckley, a director at the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). He said even though the Carmichael mine will become unprofitable as coal prices fall, Adani might have an incentive to expand it to 20 million tonnes a year to keep the port filled when other mines supplying the terminal stop producing.
Meantime, China, has completed the first coal-power 1,000-megawatt unit of the Shanghaimiao plant, the biggest of its kind under construction in the country. China is responsible for more than half of global coal-fired power generation and is expected to see a 9% year-on-year increase in 2021, an International Energy Agency report published this month said.
China has pledged to start reducing coal consumption, but will do so only after 2025, giving developers considerable leeway to raise capacity further in the coming four years. Yhe country is likely to build as much as 150 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity over the 2021-2025 period, bringing the total to 1,230 GW.