Adani Group drops major contractors in Australian coal project

Sydney, July 22 (IANS) India’s Adani Group has suspended two major contractors of its Queensland coal project, raising fresh speculation on its ability to the finance Australia’s largest coal mine, a media report said on Wednesday.

Parsons Brinckerhoff and Korean construction company Posco were told last week to stop work on the Carmichael mine, rail and port project, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Company sources told the newspaper that senior Adani executives flew to India for talks about the project’s future. The suspension of the contractors has taken place less than a month after the company stood down four engineering firms – WorleyParsons, Aecon, Aurecon and SMC – and a number of workers.

“It seems to me like they are at the crossroads of do they continue or do they do what GVK did and sack everyone,” the Herald quoted a source as saying.

“I think they just do not have the money and can’t get the money to go ahead. I think, one, Adani do not have the money, and two are realising this is a long, drawn-out process,” the source added

It also follows alleged revelations by Fairfax Media that senior Queensland Treasury officials had advised the Queensland government last year that they believed the project was unviable.

The company, however, said on Tuesday that the mine would still go ahead and the company was not pulling out of the country.

“These structural changes are connected to the same engineering contracts and preliminary works variations Adani announced last month,” an Adani Group spokesperson is quoted as saying.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is the principal project management consultant for the company’s project, while Posco had been set to build Adani’s 388-kilometre rail line from the mine to Abbot Point and take a financial stake in the development.

The suspension of both firms by the company is reportedly being seen by the workers as an extraordinary step.

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