Indian business conglomerate GVK has secured approval from the Australian government to develop the $6.9bn Alpha Coal Port Project at Abbot Point near Bowen, Queensland.
The approval was granted under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 following an assessment process by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC).
The company secured a separate approval in August 2012 for the Alpha mine and rail projects, projected to produce over 180 million tonnes by 2020.
North Asian export markets, along with certain Indian power projects by GVK, will be the recipients of the high grade thermal coal obtained from the Abbot point project, developed jointly by GVK and Hancock Prospecting of Australia.
GVK chairman Dr GVK Reddy said the approval reinforces the company's goals towards becoming a significant coal supplier.
"We further believe that we can provide the best quality coal to supply power to developing countries, including India," Reddy said.
GVK vice-chairman Sanjay Reddy further added, "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 bringing to finalisation the Tier One environmental approvals that will significantly assist in the facilitation of opening up of the Galilee Basin."
The company expects to set up and operate Dual Quadrant Shiploaders at Terminal 3 of the Australian Coal Ports, providing several benefits including the reduction in pile driving, resultant noise and seabed disturbance, visual and noise impacts during operation, and carbon footprint.
Image: GVK will develop the Alpha Coal Port Project at Abbot Point in Queensland. Photo: GVK Resources