​Adani slams article claiming banks shunning its port plans

Indian coal miner Adani has called a Fairfax article
claiming that major banks have backed away from its Abbot Point coal expansion
inaccurate.

According to the article, updated this morning, both Citigroup
and Morgan Stanley had reportedly confirmed their opposition to the port
development project, a plan which would affect both Adani’s Carmichael mine and
the GVK Hancock joint venture between Gina Rinehart and Indian miner GVK.

“Citi is not involved
and does not plan to be involved in any financing for the Abbot Point
expansion,”Citigroup director Valerie Smith said.

This sentiment was echoed by Morgan Stanley’s
executive director for risk management Franceso Liberti: “”Morgan Stanley will not lend to or invest in the
expansion of Abbot Point.”

JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs were also
pegged as refusing to support the development due to their stance on projects
that may degrade natural habitats.

However, while not disputing the banks stance
on financing, Adani has called the article misleading, stating that “one
of the two banks the Herald asserts has shunned the port are in fact Adani’s
advisors……on the process that will underpin the port’s expansion”.

“The other banks held to have ruled out financing the port’s
expansion have not been asked to finance the port, it’s associated
infrastructure, undertaken any consideration of the fundamentals of the
project, or any consideration of the regulatory or environmental contexts. This
is not at all considered by the Herald,” Adani said in a company statement.

“Morgan Stanley and Adani have a longstanding relationship
in several markets.

“Morgan Stanley
Australia are Adani’s advisors on the potential partial sale of Adani’s
existing terminal (T1) at Abbot Point. Any partial sale of Adani’s current
holdings at the port would- far from a withdrawal from the port- in fact be
used to deliver the port’s expansion.”

In regards to approvals of the mine, and its operation in a
World Heritage area and how this may affect financing, Adani stated “Morgan
Stanley Australia has confirmed to Adani that they have not examined any of the
Galilee Basin projects’ fundamentals, nor made any assessment of the environmental
or regulatory contexts”.

The miner went on to add that it had not approached Citi,
Goldman Sachs, or JP Morgan Chase for funding.

“The premise that institutions who have not been asked to
provide funding, have no insight into our projects, and have not studied the
details, have declined to or distanced themselves from involvement is rejected.”

The Abbot Point Coal Terminal itself has had a bumpy development process, with major miners Anglo American, Rio Tinto, and BHP
all pulling out of plans to fund the development of the terminal’s expansion as
depressed coal prices tighten budgets.

The $6.2 billion expansion of the coal port would see four
additional coal terminals built; which would provide an extra annual capacity of 120
million tonnes 
and would support the development of mines
in the Bowen, Surat, and Galilee Basins.

Adani and GVK
Hancock still hold the development rights for port’s Terminal 0 and Terminal 3
respectively.

North Queensland
Bulk Ports, the operator of Abbot Point, said it would continue to review how to “best cater for staged and
timely incremental expansion of port and terminal capacity”.

“The advancement
of the site is fundamental in catering for future incremental coal export
growth at Abbot Point,” the company said.

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