COAL PLAN: Clive Palmer at the pro-coal event in Mackay has revealed plans to link his proposed coal mine to Gladstone via a 500km coal slurry pipeline.
COAL PLAN: Clive Palmer at the pro-coal event in Mackay has revealed plans to link his proposed coal mine to Gladstone via a 500km coal slurry pipeline. Emma Murray

Palmer's got a new plan to link the Galilee Basin to port

AFTER spending over a decade trying to advance his $6.4billion Galilee Coal Project with a rail line to Abbott Point, Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal has come out of left field with a plan for a coal slurry pipeline to Gladstone.

Given the Queensland Government's increased motivation to progress resource projects like Adani's Carmichael mine following the demoralising defeat of Labor in the federal election, Waratah Coal has contacted Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the State Government to press for action.

Waratah Coal is one of several mining companies with coal tenements in the Galilee Basin waiting on the outcome of Adani's project.

Featuring plans for four underground coal mines, two open-cut coal mines and 453km standard-gauge railway, a new approach towards realising the Galilee Coal Project was revealed by The Australian yesterday.

After saying for years it would need a rail line to the Abbot Point port, at Bowen, Waratah Coal revealed on Monday that it would use a 500km slurry pipeline to take coal to the port at Gladstone.

Further details on the pipeline were unavailable yesterday, but Waratah Coal was approached for further comment and a map showing where the intended corridor might run through Central Queensland.

A Waratah Coal spokesperson said the Galilee project would mine coal through highly efficient long-wall mining, co-existing with existing grazing stakeholders and minimising surface disturbance.

The revelation of the pipeline plan comes three weeks after Waratah Coal announced ambitious plans to build a new Galilee Basin-based coal fired power station "to protect Australia's resource sector from high energy costs”.

Managing director, Nui Harris said production of resources like aluminium, copper and nickel required substantial energy, meaning that a low cost, 24/7 base load power supply was essential to drive Queensland and Australia's economic growth forward.

He said Waratah Coal had the view that high efficiency, low emissions (HELE) thermal plants (ultra-supercritical coal) offered the lowest cost base load of dispatchable power.

"The 1,400-megawatt ultra-supercritical power plant will push energy costs down by providing competition to lower efficiency state-owned generators,” Mr Harris said.

"Just by having affordable power for our resource sector, we are helping to generate more jobs, royalties and taxation, and that's got to be good for Australia.

"The Galilee Power Plant would connect to the National Energy Market (NEM) through a new high voltage feeder.”

Local connections to reinforce supply to the towns of Alpha and Jericho would also be explored in conjunction with Ergon Energy.