Date: January 02 2013
BG GROUP has borrowed $1.8 billion from the US Export-Import Bank to fund US services and equipment used in the Queensland Curtis Island LNG project.
Australia's LNG projects have suffered cost inflation and BG in May said that the budget for QCLNG, expected to produce its first gas in 2014, had blown out to $US20 billion.
BG agreed to a $US3 billion syndicated loan facility in November, lifting its undrawn committed bank borrowings to $US5.2 billion.
BG shares in London finished the the year 29 per cent lower after a horror one-day fall at the end of October when the company warned there would be no growth in its oil and gas production this year.
In August, US environment groups served a notice that the Export-Import Bank had financed, or was about to finance, projects of Origin Energy's rival Australia Pacific LNG and QCLNG without complying with environmental review requirements. APLNG was lent $US3 billion by the bank in May.
The LNG facilities, near Gladstone, will be built on Curtis Island, which is within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
In December the groups filed a lawsuit in a Californian court against Export-Import Bank over its loan to APLNG, arguing the construction and operation of the plant would threaten the reef.
A spokesman for BG said the US groups were campaigning against the use of fossil fuels and using the reef to generate publicity. QCLNG was being built in an industrialised port at the southern extremity of the reef and would have no impact on it, he said.
The spokesman said BG was diversifying its sources of funding to support its growth program and had similar loan arrangements with several other banks.
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