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INDIAN infrastructure company GVK will allow other mining companies to use the Queensland railway line it is building from the Galilee Basin to the Abbot Point coal port, and it is also applying for extra loading capacity at the port as the size of the project ramps up.
After talks with Australian producer Hancock Coal for almost a year, GVK announced at the weekend that it was paying $1.2 billion for the project, which involves three coalmines in the Galilee Basin and a railway line to the coal-loading facilities.
Hancock had planned to export about 60 million tonnes of coal a year from the mines but GVK is planning to export between 80 million tonnes to 85 million tonnes.
Hancock has been allocated a capacity of 60 million tonnes annually to load at Abbot Point, but GVK vice-chairman Sanjay Reddy said yesterday that it had applied for extra loading capacity at Abbot Point to accommodate increased volumes.
But the bigger issue is the rail line, with three major developers in the Galilee Basin (Hancock, fellow Indian company Adani, and Australian miner Clive Palmer) all insisting on building their own 500km railway to haul coal from the Galilee Basin to Abbot Point.
But Sanjay Reddy said yesterday that the company was asking for expressions of interest from other coalmining companies in using its line.
"GVK is an infrastructure company and we are keen to maximise the utility of our assets," he said.
"We are at least two years ahead of the other projects in terms of our EIS, but we would like to do this in an open fashion.
"We would like this to be an open-access facility."
Back in India, GVK's share price rose 5.5 per cent on Monday and a further 1.5 per cent yesterday on the strength of the news, but there is some market concern about the level of debt and equity required for stage 1 of the project.
Mr Reddy said it was envisaged about 25 per cent to 30 per cent of the $10bn needed for the stage would come from equity, with the remainder from debt.
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