Adani Group may issue $1.5 bn in global bonds to fund Oz coal project

The Adani Group is considering issuing $1.5 billion in global bonds to fund the development of its coal project in Australia, its chairman Gautam Adani said on Sunday.

The group is in talks with bankers for the bond issue and is also considering other fund-raising options, including an equity sale and listing the company's mining business abroad, Adani told reporters after a press conference in Mundra, Gujarat.

The group has so far invested $3 billion in the Galilee basin project in Queensland, where it is developing the mine as well as building rail and port infrastructure. It plans to invest another $7 billion over the next few years.

There is also the possibility of raising $1.5 billion by reducing the promoters' stakes in Adani Ports and holding company, Adani Enterprises, Adani said. Promoter shareholding is more than 75% in both the holding company and the ports business, which are listed on stock exchanges.

Adani Enterprises has a debt to equity ratio of 2.9:1, but hopes to bring it down to a much more relaxed 1:1 ratio by 2015, Adani said, as he expects the government to arrive at decision on tariff increases by next year.

Adani Power is currently seeking permission from Indian authorities to pass on more of the increasing cost of imported fuel to customers. The Carmichael mine in Australia is central to the company's plans to secure coal to fuel its power production capacity in India, which faces an electricity deficit. The group, which currently generates 5,320 MW, aims to generate 20,000 MW by 2022.

"We will need 100 million tonnes per annum of coal to achieve our 2022 generation target," said Harsh Mishra, who heads Adani Group's international operations. "We will reach peak production of 60 million tonnes (mt) of coal per annum 2022 onwards from the Carmichael mine"

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