The Adani Group has approached Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility for financing to build a rail line that is part of its $16-billion coal mine project in Queensland, Reuters reported on Monday. Without revealing how much fund the company has requested, Australian Resources Minister Matthew Canavan said the NAIF was considering the proposal.
The Australian government had set up the NAIF last year to offer loans for infrastructure projects such as airports and railroads and, in turn, help develop the economy.
This move comes after some major banks, including Germany’s Deutsch Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, refused to participate in the controversial coal project. Green groups have protested against the project saying it will contribute to global warming. Environmentalists fear that the project will require a mega-port expansion into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area to export coal to India. However, the Adani Group has held that the project would not affect the reef.
On August 19, 2016, the Australian Supreme Court had dismissed appeals lodged by indigenous community member Adrian Burrgubba as well as a Brisbane-based environmental group against Adani’s $16-billion coal and mining project. Burrgubba had argued that the National Native Title Tribunal was misled by the Adani Group about the economic benefits of their project.