$4bn Gladstone Port upgrade, but finance uncertain

Industry will fund upgrade to Wiggins Island Coal Terminal, but project hinges on whether company responsible for it can secure finance

Industry will fund a $4 billion upgrade to Wiggins Island Coal Terminal in Queensland, but the project hinges on whether the company responsible for it can secure finance.

WICET, a consortium of 16 coal companies bankrolling the terminal at the Port of Gladstone, has until next year to secure the funds for the project, which will be delivered in three stages.

The Queensland Government and WICET are currently working towards signing key documentation and ensuring the developers are able to secure finance.

The project is expected to be delivered in three stages, with the first stage creating additional port capacity of 25 million tonnes per annum by late 2012. The terminal will export up to 150 million tonnes a year once completed.

Premier Anna Bligh says the project will help instil economic buoyancy in Queensland.

"The fact these 16 coal companies have locked [in] to building this very large project, and believe that they are in a position to get financial close by the middle of next year, confirms that they have confidence in the continued growth in this sector," Bligh says.

The Premier says global demand for Queensland coal has led to strong interest from coal mining companies, which will turn the Port of Gladstone into one of the world’s largest coal export ports.

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