Eight sign on for WICET

THE Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal has secured enough miners to be back in the black.

Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET) announced yesterday that stage one of the industry-funded coal terminal achieved capacity commitments totalling 27Mtpa from eight coal producers which will ultimately see an expansion of the Gladstone port facility by at least 70Mtpa.

The Wiggins Island Coal Terminal is a $4 billion project that will create up to 800 jobs in construction and 300 ongoing jobs in Gladstone.

The capacity commitments form the basis for WICET to secure funding for the initial terminal development with financial close expected in the first half of 2011 and shipments from 2014.

WICET project director Mark West said reaching this milestone demonstrates that an industry-funded terminal offers real benefits for coal producers.

“It brings the terminal a step closer to reality and gives us momentum to secure funding and commence construction,” Mr West said.

The eight coal producers that have committed to a total 27Mtpa capacity are Aquila Resources, Caledon Resources, Cockatoo Coal, Northern Energy Corporation, Wesfarmers Curragh, Yancoal, Xstrata Coal and Bandana Energy.

All WICET stage 1 allocation offers are subject to the respective proponents signing a Take or Pay agreement and WICET reaching financial close.

Each coal miner has entered into a deed, supported by a bid bond, detailing its intention to execute a binding Take or Pay agreement and to meet its proportionate share of WICET’s ongoing project development costs up to financial close.

This comes three months after WICET failed to meet their July financial target commitments due to the now failed resource super profits tax and other issues threatening the port’s 2013 start up date.

A spokeswoman for the Gladstone Port’s Corporation said the GPC is pleased to see WICET achieve a major milestone on its journey to develop the Wiggins Island Coal Terminal.

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