Adani says Carmichael work to start in October; scrip soars

Adani Enterprises said today it plans to begin work in October to build the controversial Carmichael coal project in Australia, aiming to make its first shipment in March 2020.

Following the development, the stock jumped 7.41 per cent to Rs 117.45 on BSE, its biggest intra-day percentage gain since 6 June.

The Carmichael project has been delayed for years by court challenges from international green groups and indigenous groups concerned about climate change and the impact on native land and water supply, but those challenges have been rejected.

Earlier this month, the Indian customs intelligence  accused the Adani Group of embezzling around Rs1,500 crore to offshore accounts by submitting inflated bills related to an electricity project, which fuelled a fresh outcry by green groups against the Australian project (See: Australian green groups up in arms as Adani faces Indian probe).

Adani, which uses coal to generate electricity for its power business in India, is trying to line up funding for the project by March 2018.

Adani said accommodation at the Carmichael camp reopened last week, setting the company on course to start work on the mine and rail project, which has been downsized to A$4 billion ($3.2 billion) in its first stage.

The project in the remote Galilee Basin initially had been estimated at A$16.5 billion, but that included a much bigger mine and a port expansion, which Reuters reports has been put on ice.

Chairman Gautam Adani said in an interview on Friday the group will invest $7 billion by 2020 and $9 billion over the next 10 years.

The group said 16 rooms at the camp are already open and a further 245 rooms would open by early September, along with other facilities, project offices, utilities and communications.

''Engaging with regional contractors has enabled us to be flexible and quick to get some of our construction infrastructure already operational,'' Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj said in a statement.

Promoters held 74.92-per cent stake in the company as of June 2017.

For the quarter ended 30 June 2017, the company reported total revenue at Rs3,023.85 crore while net profit stood at Rs22.97 crore