ABBOT POINT / NORTH QUEENSLAND EXPORT TERMINAL
Financing Abbot Point means supporting the Carmichael coal export project.
Adani’s Abbot Point coal port (now officially known as North Queensland Export Terminal – NQXT after it was rebranded from Adani Abbot Point Terminal), 25km north of Bowen in North Queensland, is nestled between ecologically significant wetlands, sacred Juru traditional sites, and the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Adani has demonstrated that it is unable to operate appropriately in this important environment; spilling toxic coal sludge into the neighbouring wetlands in 2017 and 2019.
NQXT is also essential to the disastrous Adani Carmichael coal project. NQXT has signed a contract with Adani Mining (rebranded as Bravus) for the export of 9.3 million tonnes from mid-2022. The Carmichael coal project includes the coal mine, rail line, and port. Because NQXT is an essential link in the chain that forms the Adani Carmichael coal export project, any financing of NQXT is considered support for the Carmichael coal export project.
Abbot Point’s massive debt bill coming due
Adani’s purchase of NQXT in 2011 was debt-funded, with several debt tranches maturing over the last decade and further debt maturities in 2024. In 2020 NQXT had some difficulty refinancing this debt, with a bond issue planned for early 2020 postponed and the company having to repay A$270 million in total for two tranches of debt coming due in 2020 out of Adani’s own funds. Most recently, according to Moody’s and other ratings agencies, Adani was unable to externally refinance a massive US$500 million bond issue which matured in December 2022, paying the debt back out of its own pocket. This means Adani has been unable to externally refinance three of the last four of NQXT’s debt tranches.
A group of Korean creditors that provided funds in 2018 and 2019 have now pledged no further investment in Adani’s coal port and will cut all ties once their existing debts mature. These were Samsung Securities, Hanwha Investment and Securities, Korea Investment and Securities, Industrial Bank of Korea, and Mirae Asset Daewoo.
Longstanding security trustee Bank of New York Mellon resigned from its role in November 2021, believed to have been replaced by GLAS and bond arrangers Investec and CLSA have pledged not to work with NQXT again.
“After review, BNY Mellon has decided to resign from all legacy transactions with Adani in Australia and will not pursue additional transactions with Adani in Australia. BNY Mellon has determined this business is not aligned with our ESG [environmental, social and governance] principles.”
– BNY Mellon
Finance industry databases show that NQXT appointed financial advisory firm Grant Samuel to keep trying to raise funds to refinance debt, and several banks have been appointed to arrange a bond raising (Stifel, Emirates NBD Capital, and Haitong). NQXT will likely go to them and existing creditors yet to rule out further investment for new debt arrangements.
Fill out the action form to tell these banks that they must rule out further financing of Abbot Point.
Tell the banks that have been linked to NQXT bond issues (Haitong, Emirates NBD Capital, Stifel) to rule out future financing of the coal port.
Coal from NQXT contaminating Caley Valley Wetlands after Cyclone Debbie, April 2017. Image credit: Dean Sewell / Oculi
North Queensland export terminal / Abbot Point coal terminal. Image credit: Greenpeace / Tom Jefferson