Alpha Test Pit
Alpha Test Pit

GVK defends project after another bank pulls out

A FRENCH bank's decision to pull its support for GVK Hancock's Alpha mine could impact more Galilee Basin projects, environmentalists have claimed.

French bank Societe Generale announced on Friday they would not take part in the project following delays.

"In the context of the Alpha Coal project's delay, Societe Generale has decided, in agreement with GVK Hancock, to suspend its mandate. The bank has therefore no involvement with the project," the bank said in a statement.

The bank is the ninth to pull support for Galilee Basin coal projects following the falling price of coal.

Banks Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley said they would not be funding the project.

Environmental organisation Coast and Country, who have taken GVK Hancock to court over the mine, spokesman Derec Davies said the decision could impact mines across the Galilee Basin.

"This is obviously something GVK will be concerned about," he said.

"Has the Alpha coal project turned into a zombie?

"I would think Societe Generale's decision would reverberate through other projects."

Similarly anti-coal think tank Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis urged the Indian companies backing the Galilee Basin mines to withdraw their support.

Despite the concerns, GVK Hancock corporate affairs manager Josh Euler said the project was on track and Societe Generale had been supporting an area not being worked on at the moment.

"GVK Hancock has been working with Societe Generale on a specific element of the financing arrangements for our projects, but is not currently working on that specific work package and as such does not require their services at this time," he said.

"The key focus for our projects at this point in time is finalising our approvals and addressing litigious challenges to our attained approvals.

"Once we have finalised approvals we will then execute coal off-take agreements and work to finalise financing arrangements."

- APN NEWSDESK


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