February 4, 2018 / 2:42 AM / in 5 months

Australian official confirms no federal financing for Adani mine

SYDNEY (Reuters) - There will be no Australian federal financing of a loan facility for Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprises Ltd to build a rail line to its proposed Carmichael coal project, a government frontbencher confirmed on Sunday.

Assistant minister for vocational education Karen Andrews told Sky News Speers on Sunday that financing a loan facility for the Adani rail line would not proceed.

“Given the position that the Labor state government actually took to the last election and their election, there won’t be financing from the Federal Government,” Andrews said in the televised interview.

Adani planned to use a A$900 million ($713.34 million)government loan to help build a 400 km (250 mile) rail line to connect its long-delayed Carmichael coal mine with a Pacific Ocean port in Queensland.

The loan was to come under the federal government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) program but was vetoed by the newly elected Queensland state premier in December.

There had been media speculation that funding may have flowed to the project via legal work-arounds, but in a further blow to the proposed Carmichael coal mine project it was made clear on Sunday that this will not happen.

Resource Minister Matt Canavan’s office confirmed there is no funding proposal other than the NAIF loan application which will not proceed.

Adani could not be immediately reached for comment, but told Reuters in December that it would develop the mine on an owner-operator basis.

It then canceled an agreement with Downer EDI Ltd worth a reported A$2 billion to outsource the mine’s operation.

The proposed A$16.5 billion Carmichael project, which would be the largest coal mine in Australia if built, has attracted protests from environmentalists.

A number of lenders including Deutsche Bank AG, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and two Chinese state banks, have said they will not provide funding for the Adani coal mine project, given the opposition to investment in fossil fuels.

Reporting by Alison Bevege

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