Wiggins Island Coal Terminal Not Wavering

A director on the board of the $2.5 billion Wiggins Island Coal Terminal (WICET) in Gladstone has kyboshed rumours that Queensland’s newest coal export terminal could go into receivership.

His comments are in response to recent media speculation that current low coal prices and their impact on the mining companies that own WICET could derail the project.

However, Cockatoo Coal managing director and WICET shareholder Andrew Lawson has just told a conference in Gladstone that the port is in a strong position.

“I don’t have any ability to speak on behalf of WICET, but my views come from being a shareholder,” he told the GEA major industry conference this morning.

“All WICET has to do is service its debt, and it can service that debt on significantly lower tonnages than are currently forecast.

“It’s going to be completed, it’s a world-class facility.”

Mr Lawson said reports that the new facility was in trouble were nonsense.

“We have had some hiccups, but going forward we have an excellent management team in place and we think it will be a flagship project,” he said.

The new terminal has eight shareholders, including the recently collapsed would-be miner Bandanna Energy, which owned a 14 per cent stake in the project.

Cockatoo Coal, Aquila, Caledon Resources, Wesfarmers Curragh, Glencore, Yancoal and North Energy Corporation are the remaining seven stakeholders in the industry owned and privately funded facility.

According to General Manager of project delivery at WICECT Malcolm McPhann, the terminal is 96 per cent complete, with the 900-strong construction workforce to wind down to just a “skeleton crew” by Christmas.

That’s despite reports in the Australian suggesting the port has hired advisers to stress test its finances and that four shareholders having been trying to sell down their stake in the project.

“If you think major shareholders like Glencore are  going to remain strong – which I do – then there is no chance that the facility is going to go into receivership,” said Mr Lawson.

“I dont know where that article came from, I suspect that it’s just banks spruiking for work earning some fees, in what is an otherwise tough advisory time.”

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