Sydney: Siemens AG Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser said he would look into the company’s contract to deliver a key piece of rail infrastructure to Adani Group’s controversial Carmichael coal project in Australia.
The German industrial giant has been targeted by environmental groups including Extinction Rebellion in Australia and Germany for agreeing to supply rail signaling infrastructure for the line from the mine in Queensland to the state’s coal haulage network. Carmichael has become a lightning rod for climate protesters because it would be the first mine in the Galilee Basin, potentially opening up a new region to coal extraction.
I want to thank everyone for reaching out on the #Adani project in Australia. I was not aware of and take your concerns seriously. I will diligently look into the matter and get back to you soon. @Siemens view & decision may or may not change. But you deserve an answer.
— Joe Kaeser (@JoeKaeser) December 15, 2019
“While we understand why people focus on this one project, we follow a broader approach in order to fight climate change and supply people around the world with affordable and reliable electricity,” Siemens said in a statement announcing the deal on Dec. 11.
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Kaeser’s tweet on Sunday indicated a strong backlash to the German firm’s involvement. Other companies have also been targeted by protesters for working with Adani, with engineering consulting firm Aurecon Group Pty. Ltd. cutting ties with the Indian group in August.
“After an extensive competitive process, we are confident that Siemens will provide the signaling systems that will ensure the safety of train drivers and workers who will operate our new rail network in Central Queensland,” an Adani Mining spokeswoman said Tuesday in an email. Siemens Australia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Carmichael was approved by the state government in June after a near decade-long struggle with regulators and environmental protesters. Several projects are seen following in the Galilee if Adani builds infrastructure to connect it to the state’s rail network. – Bloomberg
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