WICET hits financial close

THE Queensland government has taken some of the credit for the financial close of the long-awaited $2 billion-plus Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal.
WICET hits financial close WICET hits financial close WICET hits financial close WICET hits financial close WICET hits financial close

3D model of WICET stage one.

Blair Price

"The Bligh government has worked hard with coal producers to achieve financial close for this privately funded project that will power our state's economy for years to come,” Queensland Finance Minister Rachel Nolan said on Friday.

"We believe that projects like this, which are privately funded but facilitated by the government, really are the way forward and I look forward to seeing coal leaving our shores from WICET as early as 2014."

The first stage capacity of the terminal is targeting 27 million tonnes per annum of capacity with first shipments in 2014-15, with construction expected to generate 800 jobs while operations will need a workforce of 120.

The key Blackwater rail system will be fully duplicated by the time WICET is built and the terminal needs a 13 kilometre rail loop near Gladstone, along with upgrades to other rail lines and branches.

Nolan revealed the coal companies behind WICET will spend $35 million into “beautifying” the Gladstone foreshore, with the state government to chip in a further $10 million.

"Gladstone's Flinders Parade foreshore is set to be transformed into a world class waterfront precinct," Nolan said.

"Locals and tourists alike will reap the benefits of a revamped public space along the edge of the waterfront, including a boardwalk with pontoons and a waterside café and water park for children.”

Last year the capex for the entire three-stage development of WICET was estimated to be $5 billion.

The capex for the first stage capacity, which recently reached financial close, is $2.5 billion, according to the Queensland government.

The WICET project has suffered from various setbacks, with the global financial crisis putting it under review.

The terminal project once targeted 25Mtpa of throughput with completion expected in 2013 – pushed back from a previous late 2012 deadline.

The stage one owners of WICET include Xstrata Coal, Wesfarmers, Yancoal, Aquila Resources, Caledon Resources, Cockatoo Coal, Northern Energy Corporation and Bandanna Energy.

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