Bloomberg News

Wiggins Said to Plan to Sign $3 Billion of Loans This Month

September 06, 2011

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty, backed by 16 miners including Xstrata Plc, plans to sign about $3 billion of loans as soon as this month, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The port hired Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. to advise on arranging a $2.85 billion senior credit facility and a A$150 million ($158 million) working capital loan, the person said, asking not to be identified as details are private. Proceeds will be used to help build a coal port in the Australian state of Queensland and both facilities mature in seven years, the person said.

Wiggins Island is “on track to commence substantial construction” of the port this month, it said in an e-mailed statement today. The terminal is expected to start in 2014 with an annual coal capacity of 27 million metric tons, increasing to 80 million tons, at a total cost of about A$5 billion, project director Marc West said in a statement in September last year.

Brisbane, Australia-based spokesman Alasdair Jeffrey said Wiggins Island had received bank commitments and the financing is near completion.

Nineteen banks have pledged funds to the $2.85 billion senior debt facility, the person said today.

ANZ Bank lent A$50 million to the working capital facility, Commonwealth Bank of Australia A$15 million, National Australia Bank Ltd. A$35 million and Westpac Banking Corp. A$50 million, the person said.

Wiggins Island is also organizing A$500 million of subordinated debt which matures in nine years and about A$550 million worth of preference shares in conjunction with the same coal project, the person said.

--Editors: Shelley Smith, Cecile Gutscher

To contact the reporter on this story: Katrina Nicholas in Singapore on Knicholas2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shelley Smith at ssmith118@bloomberg.net


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