Tue, Dec 05, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Chinese bank denies loan to Adani coal mine project

The Guardian

Adani Group’s Carmichael coal project will not be financed by the China Construction Bank (中國建設銀行), according to a statement by a public relations firm that says it represents the bank.

If true, the news could be a blow to Adani’s plans to build Australia’s largest coal mine. Declined financing by more than 20 commercial banks, the company had turned to China for financing, following difficulties in getting subsidies from the Australian government.

The big Australian banks have ruled out lending to the project, and with the Labor party set to maintain government in Queensland, its promise to veto a potential federal loan to Adani means that Australian government funding is unlikely to move forward.

It was last month revealed that Adani was looking to work with the China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC, 中國機械設備工程股份有限公司) on building the railway that would link the Carmichael coal mine to the Abbot Point coal terminal, so it could ship the coal out through the Great Barrier Reef.

The state-owned China Construction Bank is the second-largest bank in the world, and thought to have a strategic alliance with CMEC, which could allow the Carmichael project to access subsidized Chinese government loans.

However, in a statement to the financial activist group Market Forces, a representative from the public relations firm Continuum Partners said the firm was representing China Construction Bank in Australia, and that it was not working with Adani on the project.

“China Construction Bank is not involved with, nor considering involvement with, the Adani Carmichael Mine project,” the Continuum Partners representative said, saying she should be quoted as “a spokesperson for China Construction Bank in Australia.”

“This statement is a huge blow to Adani, which had turned to China as its last hope to secure financing for their Carmichael mega-coal mine and had been boasting about their prospects,” Market Forces executive director Julien Vincent said.

“China Construction Bank is one of the biggest banks in the world, more than 10 times the size of Commonwealth Bank. As a lender to China Machinery Engineering Corporation’s recent overseas coal projects, Adani would have been salivating at the prospect of securing financing from [China Construction Bank],” he added.

That China Construction Bank is actively ruling out financing for the Carmichael coal project before even being approached says a lot about just how toxic this project is to investors, he said.

“China Construction Bank becomes the 25th commercial bank — and by far the biggest — to rule out financing for Adani’s Carmichael mega-coal mine,” Vincent said.

Adani Group declined to comment.

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