In­dia’s Adani Group dis­misses banks’ Australia coal project snub

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

In­dia’s Adani Group on Thurs­day brushed aside a de­ci­sion by three lead­ing French banks not to fund huge coal in­dus­try projects in Australia’s Galilee Basin near the Great Bar­rier Reef, say­ing it had “no bear­ing” on the com­pany.

Australia last year gave the green light to a AU$16.5 bil­lion (US$12.7 bil­lion) mine devel­op­ment by the firm, with the project set to play a ma­jor role in open­ing up Queens­land’s re­source- rich Galilee Basin.

It also ap­proved a ma­jor coal port ex­pan­sion for Adani at Ab­bot Point on the Great Bar­rier Reef coast sub­ject to strict en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions.

But sev­eral West­ern banks, in­clud­ing Ger­many’s Deutsche Bank and US gi­ants Cit­i­group, Gold­man Sachs, and JPMor­gan Chase have ruled them­selves out from pro­vid­ing fund­ing for parts of the devel­op­ment, cit­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns.

They were joined Wed­nes­day by France’s So­ci­ete Gen­erale, BNP Paribas and Credit Agri­cole, which con­firmed to AFP they would not fi­nance the vast mine project.

BNP Paribas said its de­ci­sion was part of a pol­icy of re­spon­si­ble fi­nanc­ing set up sev­eral years ago.

“It’s the first time the banks have pledged not to fi­nance projects across a whole re­gion be­cause of the im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment and the cli­mate,” Friends of the Earth spokes­woman Lu­cie Pin­son told AFP in Paris.

But an Adani spokesman in Queens­land dis­missed the French banks’ de­ci­sion, telling AFP it “has not for­mally re­quested any fi­nanc­ing from the in­sti­tu­tions you have re­ferred to.”

In a state­ment the spokesman added: “An in­sti­tu­tion rul­ing out some­thing it was not re­quested to do has no bear­ing on this com­pany.

“Adani’s projects in Queens­land com­ply with the strictest en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions in a world’s best prac­tice en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­provals frame­work.

“The com­pany con­tin­ues to progress the fi­nanc­ing ar­range­ments for its projects in Australia.”

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