WATCH: Adani’s impressive air strip takes shape
WHILE there is no need yet to build an airport to service Adani Australia's Carmichael Mine and Rail Project, its existing airstrip is undergoing a necessary upgrade.
An Adani spokesperson said the upgrade started late last year and was intended to improve safety and boost capacity in the absence of the originally planned airport.
"We advised in 2018 that because of the planned gradual construction and ramp up for the mine, the airport facilities as originally contemplated were not immediately necessary and this remains the case today," the spokesperson said.
"As stated then and as remains today, no investment is required from the Rockhampton or Townsville Regional Councils for an airport.
"In order to accommodate larger aircraft at our site we are instead upgrading our existing airstrip.
"This will also ensure aircraft can land in all weather conditions.
"As we have repeatedly said we do not require any Federal, State or local funding for our project.
"Like all work on our Carmichael Mine and Rail Project, the airstrip works are self-funded by the Adani Group."
Construction was expected to wind up shortly on the upgrade.
In 2018, Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow confirmed that Rockhampton and Townsville would remain the primary source for employees on the Carmichael Project.
By gradually ramping up mine production to 27 million tonnes per annum, rather than reaching this production rate immediately as per the previous plan, Mr Dow said the initial investment in the airstrip was not required.
Funding for future airport requirements would be the subject of future discussions.
"Importantly, Rockhampton and Townsville will represent the primary hubs for our workforce without the need for councils to invest at this point in time," Mr Dow said.
"We think this is a great outcome for Rockhampton and Townsville."