Tuesday 19th Dec, 2017

China backs off Adani

Adani protestors in Brisbane before the state election. Photo: Dan Macias
Adani protestors in Brisbane before the state election. Photo: Dan Macias

Indian energy giant Adani has suffered another blow, after a major Chinese bank ruled out funding its Carmichael mine, rail and port project planned for Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) over the weekend issued a statement saying it would not be involved in Carmichael.

“ICBC has not been, and does not intend to be, engaged in arranging financing for this project,” ICBC said on December 3. “ICBC attaches great importance to its social responsibilities and keenly promotes ‘green financing’. In Australia ICBC has provided financing to a series of renewable energy projects.”

The statement follows similar comments from China Construction Bank, which recently said it “is not involved with, nor considering involvement with, the Adani Carmichael Mine project”.

Another major Chinese firm, China Machinery Engineering Corp (CMEC), has also reportedly terminated its negotiations to be a part of the Carmichael project.

The exits add to a growing list of around two dozen of the world’s largest financial institutions who have ruled out funding Carmichael, including each of Australia’s ‘big four’ banks.

Reports last week suggested Adani would turn to China for funding help after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she would veto any loan for Carmichael from the Commonwealth’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. Palaszczuk’s Labor Party looks poised to secure a slim majority in Queensland following the state election on November 25.

Greens senator for Queensland Andrew Bartlett welcomed the news from the Chinese banks, saying the banking sector knows Carmichael is “a bad investment and will be an environmental catastrophe”.

“They know Australians want investment in renewable energy, not the dying fossil fuel industry that tries to get its way by giving millions in payments to Labor and the Coalition and employing their former MPs as lobbyists,” Bartlett said.