Monday 20th Nov, 2017

Aurizon in talks to take over coal terminal at Gladstone

Photo: WICET
Photo: WICET

RAIL infrastructure and haulage company Aurizon has confirmed it is involved in preliminary discussions “with a number of parties” in relation to a proposal that would see it acquire Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET) at Gladstone.

While Aurizon would acquire the terminal under the proposal, other consortium members would acquire one or more of WICET’s source mines, securing long-term volumes for the coal terminal.

The Australian Financial Review reports the other consortium members include the Macquarie Group and Brookfield, with the proposal being complex and far from a done deal.

A statement from Aurizon today also said through restructuring and the proposed introduction of lower, market-competitive port charges, there would be incentive for miners to increase port throughput.

Reuters reports a successful deal would be a relief for Glencore and its partners, who are facing a September 2018 deadline to start paying down the $3bn WICET debt.

The news service also reports if the port is not refinanced by deadline, Glencore and its partners would have to pay off the full debt over the ensuing decade.

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