Australia rules out financing rail link for Adani coal project

Australia rules out financing rail link for Adani coal project
Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani. (File Photo: IANS)

Melbourne: The Australian government on Sunday ruled out financing for the railway project to link the Adani Group’s proposed $12 billion Carmichael coal mine project in Australia to a port.

In an interview to Sky News, Assistant Minister for Vocational Education Karen Andrews said the federal government will not grant the (Australian) $900 million concessional loan sought by Adanis to build a rail line to to link to port the Carmichael mine project that has become controversial owing to environmental concerns.

“Let’s be clear, though, given the position that the Labor state government took to the last election and their election, there won’t be financing from the federal government,” Andrews said, although “all the approvals are already in place for the Adani mine”.

Referring to federal financing for the rail link, she said: “No it won’t be proceeding. For there to be money available from the Naif (Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility), that would require the support from the Queensland Labor government”.

Andrews also said that the advice to refuse federal financing had been given by the country’s Resource Minister Matt Canavan.

Australian and foreign banks have been unwilling to grant loans for the Carmichael coal mine, railway and port integrated project in the state of Queensland, which is opposed by environmentalists.

In December, the newly-elected Queensland government vetoed the Australian $900 million federal government loan sought for the project in line with a promise made in its election manifesto

Last year, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank said in separate statements they were not working on the project, for which Adani is seeking $1.5 billion financing.

The Adanis are one of the most highly leveraged in India, with group companies accounting for total debt of more than Rs 75,000 crore as of March 2017.