9 October 2020
Yesterday Adani formalised the rebranding of its coal port from Adani Abbot Point Terminal to North Queensland Export Terminal (NQXT). In paperwork submitted to the corporate regulator ASIC, six companies through which Adani holds and finances the port will have their names changed with all references to Adani removed.
The new website for NQXT contains not one mention of Adani or even coal, despite its sole purpose being the export of the polluting fossil fuel.
It seems increasingly like Adani is trying to scrub its own name from its Australian coal operations – a clear sign that its brand has become so toxic not even Adani itself wants to use it. In August, Adani launched the Bowen Rail Company – the coal haulage company that will transport Carmichael mine thermal coal from the mine to NQXT. Its website also has no mention of Adani or Carmichael despite its likely exclusive role transporting Carmichael coal and its full ownership by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone.
Adani Abbot Point Terminal/North Queensland Export Terminal has faced some serious difficulties recently. It is highly indebted and has been unable to refinance its 2020 debt, forcing it to repay $270 million out of its own pocket with another US$140 million due in September 2021 and US$500 million due in December 2022. Its bonds are rated as “junk” with one ratings agency increasing its Environment/Social/Governance risk rating for NQXT due to its exposure to volatile coal markets. Around a dozen existing or former creditors have pledged to have nothing further to do it.
In August 2020 it lost a case in the Qld Supreme Court, with the judge ordering it to pay $107 million to some of its customers and accusing NQXT of “deliberate” “dishonest behaviour”.
NQXT has also been fined for allowing contaminated water to flow into wetlands adjacent to the port.
With a record like that it’s no wonder Adani is trying wipe the slate clean. The rebranding appears to be an attempt to drum up financial support for its heavily indebted coal port by hiding what it does and who owns it. Hopefully the world’s investors will see through that old trick. Whether it’s called Abbot Point or North Queensland Export terminal, we’re still talking about the port that would handle coal from the ecologically disastrous and financially risky Carmichael coal mine.
Check out our video summary and take action by contacting NQXT’s remaining creditors below: