The Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal site at Gladstone.
The Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal site at Gladstone. Mara Pattison-Sowden

Investors show interest as WICET nears completion

THE Glencore-led $2.6 billion Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal nearing completion at Gladstone is attracting interest from infrastructure investors and investment banks, and could join the nation's list of sold-off port assets in the next couple of years.

WICET chairman John Massey said the industry-owned coal terminal, which looks set to achieve the rare feat of being built under budget, could be sold once construction is complete.

"There's nothing that says this is going to continue to be owned by the consortium of coal companies," Mr Massey said.

"They got together to get the thing built but whether they continue to have the same exposure in the long term is debatable … you've got a whole lot of international investors who want Australian infrastructure; it's likely they will want to invest (in WICET) one way or another."

Mr Massey said there had already been interest, and Grant Samuel had been employed to look at refinancing and other options once the plant had reached full capacity and project finance conditions had been met.

He said no decision had been made by the project's eight owners, which include Glencore, ­Aquila Resources, Wesfarmers and Yancoal, and pointed to a ­decision by the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group Terminal to keep ownership of its recently completed terminal.

Read the full story in The Australian.



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