Adani rejects media reports
THE FUTURE of Adani’s Abbot Point Coal Terminal came under scrutiny once again this week, following reports in the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday that U.S. banking giants Citigroup and Morgan Stanley would “avoid involvement” in the project.
The report was welcomed by the Australian Marine Conservation Society, but sternly rebuffed by Adani.
A spokesperson for Adani said that Morgan Stanley, one of the two banks the Sydney Morning Herald asserts has “shunned” the port, is in fact Adani’s advisor on the process that will underpin the port’s expansion. Felicity Wishart, AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director, said the decision by Citibank to rule out investment at Abbot Point showed that the project was unviable and represented a bad investment for financial institutions.
She also called on Australia’s biggest financial institutions not to invest in the Abbot Point expansion.
Earlier this year, international banking giants HSBC and Deutsche Bank ruled out investing in the contentious project.
However, the Adani spokesperson noted that other banks held to have ruled out financing the port's expansion, such as Citibank, Goldman Sachs, or JPMorgan Chase, 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.
“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 spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has until Monday November 3 to decide whether or not to approve the State Government’s Abbot Point Port and Wetlands Strategy, which would see dredge material from the port expansion dumped on land. Whitsunday Residents Against Dumping Spokesperson Brittney Gregory said the group wanted to see Minister Hunt ensure a full Environmental Impact Study is undertaken.
“Because these wetlands are fragile it is imperative that the proper environment studies are conducted,” Ms Gregory said.