German engineering firm Siemens will continue to work on Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal mine.

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser says federal resources minister Matt Canavan presented the company with some good arguments in favour of continuing its contract to deliver services and equipment to the rail network connecting the Adani coal mine to export terminals.

Siemens announced last year that it would review its deal with Adani after strong criticism from environmental groups, including over 57,000 Germans who signed a petition calling on the company to cancel its contract with the Adani mine.

Mr Kaeser has this week issued an open letter saying the Adani contract is a “very small signalling order”, which it would honour.

Mr Kaeser’s justifications included the approvals from traditional owners that mine has received, and Mr Canavan’s claims that the 2019 federal election was effectively a referendum on the Carmichael coal mine.

“The Australian people clearly voted to support Adani at the federal election in May 2019, especially in regional Queensland. It would be an insult to the working people of Australia and the growing needs of India to bow to the pressure of anti-Adani protestors,” Mr Canavan told Siemens in a letter dated 19 December.

The Siemens CEO said the company is committed to a decarbonised economy.

“Siemens, as one of the first companies to have pledged carbon neutrality by 2030, fundamentally shares the goal of making fossil fuels redundant to our economies over time,” Mr Kaeser said.

“While I do have a lot of empathy for environmental matters, I do need to balance different interests of different stakeholders, as long as they have lawful legitimation for what they do. This is my responsibility as a CEO and that of the management team. Keeping our promises is Siemens’ highest priority.

“We should have been wiser about this project beforehand. Now, we need to be a supplier, who sticks to its commitments as long as the customer stays on legal grounds, too. Because being a company, which is not a reliable source for its customers is simply not an option.”