Aurizon trains won't be seen heading out to the Galilee Basin any time soon after the company pulled its NAIF application.
Aurizon trains won't be seen heading out to the Galilee Basin any time soon after the company pulled its NAIF application. Contributed

Aurizon pulls NAIF application

AURIZON has blamed a lack of commitment from potential Galilee Basin mine operators as the reason it has withdrawn its Northern Australian Infrastructure Fund application.

The rail giant confirmed today the application for the government loan had been withdrawn.

The money from the loan, if it had been approved, would have been used to build a railway line from the Galilee Basin to Aurizon's existing railway network.

The railway line is seen as a vital link to open up untouched coal reserves in the Galilee Basin.

However, it now seems unlikely, with bids from both Adani and Aurizon for NAIF funding to build it no longer going ahead.

Both applications had been met with strong opposition from environmentalists and Adani's was vetoed by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

However, Aurizon has not blamed pressure from environmentalists for its decision to pull its application.

"We believe Aurizon can play a key role in helping facilitate a multi-user, open access rail solution for the various new mines in the region," managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Harding said.

"However, while we are in ongoing discussions with several Galilee Basin mine proponents we have not yet progressed to definitive contractual arrangements with any proponent.

"Our NAIF application is, in part, predicated on having customer contracts secured. Given this is unlikely to occur in the near future we believe it is prudent to withdraw the NAIF application.

"If market circumstances change and our discussions with potential customers progress to commercial arrangements we will look at all possible financing arrangements to develop the rail solution."


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