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An Australian government-owned fund manager company has expressed interest to invest in "infrastructure pieces" of Indian energy giant Adani's controversial 21 billion dollar coal mine project in Queensland.
Chief executive of the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) Damien Frawley said the company, whose major clients include defined benefit superannuation scheme for Queensland public servants, was keen to explore infrastructure opportunities around the state.
Even though the company has not been approached for investment in the Adani's Carmichael coal mine project, QIC has said it would not be interested in the mine itself. "But the infrastructure pieces of Adani would be interesting for us to explore. If it fitted within the return rates we are seeking," Frawley was quoted as saying by 'The Courier Mail' here.
The indicated area of investment could include the construction of a 500-kilometre rail corridor from Galilee Basin to the coast and expansion of coal export terminals at Abbot Point near Bowen, it said. Frawley said the company was also looking at another 5.4 billion dollar Cross River Rail initiative for the country.
"It's a piece of infrastructure we would be very keen to explore," he said, adding that "the funding is the area that Government is trying to solve at the moment." "I think there's an opportunity for private capital to participate if the economics of that investment are favourable," he said.
QIC, which was founded in 1991 with 7 billion dollars under management, has built up a 79 billion dollar portfolio of assets and investments in Australia and overseas.
Despite being targetted by several political and environmental groups from time to time, Adani has reaffirmed its commitment to the project and promised to create economic prosperity, including creating thousands of jobs for the people of regional Queensland.
"Our mining project will create economic prosperity and will also create thousands of jobs for the people of regional Queensland," said Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani during a recent meeting with Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
"The Carmichael mine will help bring energy security to millions of Indians who do not have access to electricity. The Adani group is committed to nation building projects in the energy and infrastructure space which will create economic and social benefits for people of India and Australia," he had said.
Carmichael coal mine project, one of the world's largest, will start construction this year after being given the green light by the federal and Queensland state governments. The project involves dredging 1.1 million cubic metres of spoil near the iconic Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which will then be disposed of on land.
Cricket legends Ian and Greg Chappell and other prominent Australians in an unusual move recently wrote to Adani to abandon the project, warning it could damage bilateral ties and even hit sporting links.
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