There is much talk about the demise of coal, whether it is being mined, supplying power stations or the main export of a coal loader. But with around US$20bn worth of coal deals currently in the market, the real question is not about the viability of coal but the willingness of local and international lenders to provide project finance.
The Queensland government is undertaking a value for money analysis to determine whether an availability PPP for the Brisbane Metro bus network is the best option to deliver the US$698m project.
The New South Wales government has invited investment banks to make pitches to handle the US$1.6bn refinancing of Reliance Rail. A decision on the mandate is expected next week. Lazard had handled the previous financing for the government but the government is understood to want someone new.
APA Group has entered into agreements with Cooper Energy to purchase, upgrade and operate the Orbost Gas Processing Plant, to process natural gas from the Sole gas field.
The potential sale of Origin Energy’s oil and gas assets, Lattice Energy, has attracted US-based Questus Energy, which is being advised by Morgan Stanley.
Perth-based developer Sun Brilliance has received approval to build the A$160m (US$118m), 100MW Cunderin solar farm, which will be the biggest solar farm in West Australia by size and the biggest to-date in Australia by output.
Offshore Energy, a private company whose managing director Andy Evans helped develop Acciona’s Waubra wind farm, has put forward a proposal to build a 2,000MW offshore wind farm off the coast of Gippsland in Victoria.
AGL Energy is in talks with its lenders on a A$500m (US$373m) loan for its 460MW Coopers Gap Wind Farm in Queensland. AGL will then offer the project to its own Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF).
Maoneng Australia has reached financial close on the A$35m (US$26m) project finance for its 13MW Mugga Lane Solar Park at Tuggeranong in the Australian Capital Territory.
Investment banks and legal firms submitted proposals to the federal government last week in the hope of snaring a mandate to advise on the sale of the Snowy Hydro scheme, one of the largest hydro plants in the world.
Genex Power, which is building solar and pumped hydro projects at the former Kidston mine site in Queensland, has mandated Grant Samuel as financial adviser for Stage 2 of its solar project. Societe Generale was financial adviser for Stage 1.
Wind developers UPC Renewables and Goldwind Australia have announced plans to develop wind farms in Tasmania but both projects will rely on a decision to build a US$750m second power cable connection to the Victorian mainland.
ETSA Utilities Finance, the funding vehicle for SA Power Networks, has executed a A$250m (US$188m) four-year syndicated debt facility that will be used to repay Australian medium-term note debt maturing on September 7 2017.
AGL Energy will build a new 210MW gas-fired power plant in energy-starved South Australia that will see AGL replace its ageing Torren Island gas-fired generator with a new unit.
Financial adviser Rothschild is expected to name the bidders on the Loy Yang B coal-fired power station in Victoria going through to the second round by the end of this week.
Australia’s energy policy is set for a shake-up following a report to the federal government from Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, who is advocating a clean energy target and for coal stations to give at least three years notice before closing.