23 May 2018. Adani’s plans to sell down their stake in the Abbot Point coal export terminal, with the assistance of investment bank Rothschild, are a win for the Carmichael mega mine project and a clear threat to the campaign to stop it, say environmental finance advocates Market Forces (“Adani looks to Rothschild to sell slice of its coal port operations”, Fairfax today).
Market Forces Executive Director Julien Vincent said, “Ownership of Abbot Point offered Adani control over the coal that was shipped through the port that sits in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. They would only sell Abbot Point in the most desperate of conditions, because the smart money has walked away from their disastrous Carmichael coal mine.
“What’s clear is that Adani is serious about getting its mine project started. A partial sale of the port could net them hundreds of millions of dollars that could be leveraged many times over and result in Australia’s biggest thermal coal mine being built in the midst of a climate crisis.
“After years of trying to make their economically and environmentally damaging Carmichael mine work, with other people’s money, Adani might now have to finally use its own. But even if Adani is successful, the hundreds of millions of dollars Adani raises will still need to be matched by other investors and, if recent history is any guide, public money.
“Rothschild won’t have it easy in selling this risky asset, which is only viable if Adani can actually get their Carmichael mine off the ground. But we know Rothschild is knee deep in the coal business, advising on the sale of the Loy Yang Power B station last year, on the basis that it would operate far beyond any scenario that was consistent with meeting the Paris Agreement’s goals.
“For a financial advisory group which values its reputation, Rothschild getting into bed with Adani to make this controversial project tick is not a smart move”, Mr Vincent said.