Adani aims to tie-up funding for Australia project by March

MUMBAI, Oct 3 (Reuters) - India’s Adani Enterprises Ltd aims to tie-up financing for its Carmichael coal mine project in Australia by March 2018, a senior company executive told Reuters, adding it would look to sell a minority stake in the project to help raise funds.

Adani’s planned project in the remote Galilee basin in north-east Australia has been delayed for years after opposition from environmental groups forced banks to stay away from funding what is the biggest coal mine in the country.

“By the end of this financial year, all things will be in place,” Jeyakumar Janakaraj, chief executive officer of Adani Australia, said in a phone interview, referring to the year ending in March.

While physical construction at the mine is scheduled to start in the next few weeks, Janakaraj said the company was in talks to secure export credits and lease out mining activities.

“The company is in advanced discussions in all these cases with merely term sheets under final negotiations,” he said.

Janakaraj added Adani was looking to sell minority equity stakes in the coal mine project, which also includes a rail line, to financial institutions and contractors to help with the funding.

Adani is looking to achieve a debt-to-equity ratio of 45:55 for the mine and 70:30 for the rail project, he said.

Adani has been counting on a A$900 million Australian dollar ($704 million) loan from Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) for its rail project.

Janakaraj, however, said it may not have to borrow from NAIF. “If the commercial banks take off all the debt then we will not have any need for NAIF as there will be no gap.”

$1 = 1.2778 Australian dollars Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; Editing by Mark Potter