More reports on: Mining, Power

12 global banks refuse loans to Adani's 16.5-bn Australian coal project

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11 April 2015

Infrastructure conglomerate Adani Group's Carmichael Coal mine project in Queensland, Australia, is facing funding problems after 12 international banks have refused to provide funding for the $16.5-billion project.

Three of France's largest banks, BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole recently ruled out funding the multi-billion dollar project, bringing the total to 12 banks, including State Bank of India.

Earlier Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Goldmans Sachs and Citi had refused to fund the project.

However, the Gujarat-based company said that Adani Enterprises has not formally requested any financing from the three French banks.

"Adani has not formally requested any financing from the institutions you have referred to. An institution ruling out something it was not requested to do has no bearing on this company," a spokesperson for the company was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

Adani's Australian project has also been hit by political and environmental opposition amid protests over the potential impact to the Great Barrier Reef.

The company, which has already invested $3 billion in the project, has been dragged to Queensland's Land Court by an environmental lobby over alleged environmental problems caused by the Carmichael Coal mine project.

The environment group, Coast and Country, argues that the 280 sq km Carmichael mine would pollute the atmosphere and warm the world (See: Adani meets Queensland premier amidst fresh green threat to mine project).

The coal mine-cum-rail and port project in Queensland, which envisages the cost-effective movement of high quality coal mined at Carmichael through the North Galilee Basin Rail line to the coast and the port at Abbot Point, is the key to Adani's Queensland project.

The Carmichael mine would use a new 300km rail line to transfer up to 60 million tonnes of coal a year to overseas markets, including India.

Australian environmental group, Coast and Country, says that the mine will have a severe impact on the Great Barrier Reef, threaten the tourism industry in Queensland and will negatively impact the economy, as well as threaten precious water resources and rare biodiversity.

The mine will use 12.5 billion litres of water every year, which they say is unacceptable for the driest continent in the world and threatens the viability of the continent's lifeblood.

Adan, which recently received Queensland's new state government approval to expand a port for coal projects (Adani gets Queensland nod for mine-rail project), has argued that the mine in the frontier Galilee Basin will create 10,000 jobs and generate $22 billion in taxes and royalties to Queensland state.

The rejection from the banks has more to do with the project going nowhere and the recent slump in commodity prices, than with the long-term viability of the project.

But some analysts say that for the Adani Group, which had more than $11 billion of debt on its balance sheet at the end of September 2014, funding for the project is least of its problems.





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