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BRISBANE, Australia, Dec 14, 2011 (AFP) - - Australia on Wednesday awarded land to an Indian and a Canadian firm to build a massive US$10 billion coal export port amid forecasts of a long-term boom for energy demand.
Queensland state Premier Anna Bligh said India's Adani and Canadian Brookfield Infrastructure Group had each been awarded 190 hectares (469 acres) at northern Dudgeon Point to develop two new coal terminals.
"The proposed two terminals will provide export capacity up to 180 million tonnes per year, that’s 50 million tonnes more than the current capacity at the (nearby) Port of Hay Point," said Bligh.
"This massive project is potentially worth about US$10 billion in investment and would deliver about 5,000 jobs."
The project -- which will start construction in 2013 pending environmental and other approvals -- will include six rail loops, eight offhsore berths and two jetties and expanded harbour capacity to accommodate more tug boats.
Coal and gas-rich Queensland is poised for a boom in energy demand in the next two decades, with some Aus$165 billion (US$165 billion) in large projects either under study, commitment or construction according to the state's Resources Council.
Approximately 90 percent of these are steelmaking or thermal coal, burned to produce power, with coal production in the state forecast to hit 700 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) by 2020, from about 200 mtpa currently.
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