BHP Billiton will still be a part of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal expansion.
BHP Billiton will still be a part of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal expansion. Contributed

BHP sticking with Abbot Pt

BHP Billiton has reconfirmed its commitment to Abbot Point Coal Terminal's $6.2 billion expansion deal after Rio Tinto withdrew its involvement at the weekend.

There was speculation BHP Billiton would follow in Rio Tinto's footsteps but a spokeswoman for the company yesterday said they would progress with plans to be part of the expansion.

"BHP Billiton has been awarded preferred developer status for a new terminal (T2) at Abbot Point," the spokeswoman said.

"The development of the BHP Billiton Abbot Point Coal Terminal is subject to detailed assessment and regulatory and owner approvals."

The expansion project has come under doubt since it was announced last month that government approvals would be delayed until December.

Rio Tinto's decision to withdraw has also added to the uncertainty of the expansion.

Meanwhile, Queensland Greens spokesman Jonathon Dykyj said Rio Tinto was being greedy when they decided to pull out of the deal.

"Them dropping out of the deal shows a lack of commitment in the community," Mr Dykyj said.

"They're driven by greed."

Although there had been criticism over the extension over government approvals, they were critical, he said.

"The destruction of the reef and all sorts of things need to be looked at," Mr Dykyj said.

"Senator (Larissa) Waters and the committee are using system and processes of parliament to make sure the appropriate scrutiny and checks and balances are put in place.

"Approval process should take into account each individual project and the accumulative impacts."

BHP Billiton will join Adani and Hancock Coal in the project which is expected to have 12 berths, once completed.

The Queensland Resources Council was approached by the Daily Mercury but did not want to comment on Rio Tinto's decision.



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