Death of coal financing is exaggerated as China steps up (MiningWeekly/Bloomberg – March 9, 2020)

Moves by some of the world’s biggest banks to end coal financing for the sake of the planet was supposed to create major headaches for companies like Whitehaven Coal.

Yet there was the Australian miner on a conference call last month announcing the refinancing and extension of a A$1-billion credit line, backed mostly by Chinese and Japanese lenders.

“Our banking relationships are strong, we are really well supported,” CFO Kevin Ball said. “That might come as a little bit of a surprise to people who aren’t familiar with coal.”

The relatively easy credit underscores the challenge of ridding the world of the dirtiest energy source. While global banks including Goldman Sachs Group and BNP Paribas are withdrawing support for coal mines, others are stepping into the breech.

Asian banks and export credit agencies, private-equity firms and the cashflow from coal sales are all keeping the mines operating with ample funding even as pressure mounts to put the industry out of business. The Export-Import Bank of China and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation lead firms that have committed $29-billion for new coal power projects in Vietnam and Indonesia alone.

For the rest of this article:

Comments are closed.