The GVK Group today expressed confidence it would be able to achieve financial closure for the $10- billion ‘pithead to port’ Hancock coal mine project in Australia by the first quarter of 2013.

Mr G.V. Sanjay Reddy, Vice-Chairman of the diversified GVK, said banks, financial institutions and export credit agencies are keen to partner with us in the project along with some of the long term buyers of coal from the mines.

Addressing a press conference after the company board meeting, Mr Reddy said thus far there is expression of interest for 45 million tonnes of coal and about 32 mt have been tied up with several utilities in South East Asia and China.

Some Indian companies have expressed interest for coal and other companies are keen to partner by picking up stake in the project.

“For the port project, we had a Korea bidder who wants to not only develop the project but also partner us in by picking up stake, investing funds and providing insurance cover.

“Another Chinese company, which has bid for the 500 km $3-billion rail project, has also expressed interest to fund and pick up stake,” he said.

The US EXIM Bank and equipment suppliers have come forward to be part of the project.

Funding

Therefore, he said, “We have enlisted the services of ANZ to facilitate the process of raising necessary funds.” Mr Reddy said the first coal will come out of the Alpha mine within three years of achieving financial closure.

Referring to objections for environment clearance, he said the necessary documents were submitted within two days.

He said that GVK plans to use part of the coal for its own thermal assets. But the quantum of coal to be imported has not yet been finalised.

vrishi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 1, 2012)
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