Queensland's Port of Abbot Point is one of Australia's most significant emerging bulk ports and is currently undergoing a major transformation with plans to extensively expand capacity. To meet the growing demands of coal export, Adani Mining Pty Ltd has proposed to develop the Carmichael Coal Mine in the Galilee Basin. As a result of this development, Adani identified the need to increase terminal capacity of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal 1, which they have acquired via a long-term lease. Adani proposed establishment of the T0 Terminal, capable of supporting capacity expansion of 70 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of coal, to support Adani’s port requirements and the development of other new infrastructure and mining opportunities.
With a commitment to maintain the ecological value of the project area, Adani engaged CDM Smith to undertake the project management and preparation of the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed T0 Terminal. CDM Smith directly managed numerous EIS technical components including studies on: soils, geology and topography, land use and planning, contaminated land and land disturbance, surface water and hydrology, groundwater, marine, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, and waste management.
Due to the project's proximity to the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem, CDM Smith was required to prepare the EIS in response to the Commonwealth Guidelines as the project triggered six of the eight matters of national environmental significance (MNES) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999. CDM Smith developed a range of mitigation measures to complement Adani’s measures to avoid environmental impacts on MNES, while working closely with the project engineers to identify and effectively respond to relevant constraints during project design.
The longstanding professional relationship that CDM Smith has built with both state and commonwealth governing bodies has ensured open and ongoing communication for this project with key stakeholders to produce a high-quality EIS and within the schedule. CDM Smith’s high caliber and extensive network of contacts further ensured that highly regarded sub-consultants and peer reviewers were chosen to support CDM Smith with additional technical input.
The project contributed to existing environmental and monitoring programs, as well as the implementation of best standard erosion and sediment control, water quality and environmental management measures.
In conjunction with the EIS, CDM Smith prepared the State Development Area Application approval process, which included: extensive application documentation, key stakeholder and government department high-level liaison, and orchestrating the public consultation process.
In 2016, Adani advised CDM Smith that the Queensland Coordinator-General had approved the SDA Application for the project. This is the second of the two major approvals for the port infrastructure that CDM Smith has completed, the first being the commonwealth government's approval of the EIS under the EPBC Act in 2013. This project is set to progress once the Carmichael port, rail and mine project is underway.
The value of our contribution to this project has been realized with CDM Smith chosen by Adani to work on the approvals process for the proposed Whyalla Solar Farm in South Australia. The development application for this project is currently sitting with the South Australian Government for final approval.
A further flow-on opportunity from this project has seen Adani Abbot Point Terminal Pty Ltd (AAPT) commission CDM Smith to assist in reviewing the existing situation of the port and identify viable options that align with AAPT’s future demand and functionality requirements.