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EFIC to finance Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal

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The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) is providing a US$100 million export finance guarantee to support senior secured loan facilities of close to $3.0 billion, to finance the construction and operation of the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET). The terminal, in the Port of Gladstone, Queensland, is being developed by a consortium of coal companies to provide additional export port infrastructure to meet the demand for coal primarily from Asia. Eight coal companies - Xstrata Coal (on behalf of the Rolleston Joint Venture), Bandanna Energy, Yancoal Australia, Caledon Resources, Cockatoo Coal, Aquila Resources, Northern Energy Corporation and Wesfarmers Curragh - will be the owners of WICET. A total of 19 domestic and international financial institutions are due to provide finance to the project under the senior secured loan facilities. In addition to its participation in financing, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) will provide additional funding with the benefit of a US$100 million export finance guarantee from EFIC. According to EFIC Origination and Portfolio Management executive director Peter Field, this is an opportunity for EFIC to fill a gap in the financing of an Australian based export infrastructure project in support of the development of the Queensland coal export industry. "Where previously EFIC has not been called upon to support domestic projects, continued constraints in the credit markets have led to EFIC being asked to work with a consortium of commercial financiers and other export credit agencies to support this transaction."

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