WICET coal loader

Photo Contributed
WICET coal loader Photo Contributed Contributed

Aurizon faces competition from mining giant for WICET

RAIL giant Aurizon is expected to face some competition in its bid for debt- laden Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal, from one of the facility's owners, Glencore.

The Australian reported Glencore executives from Switzerland are believed to be in Australia for talks about the possible acquisition of WICET.

The Gladstone-based facility, owned by a consortium including Glencore, Yancoal, Wesfarmers, New Hope and Aquila, owes $3.9billion to 19 lenders.

Glencore is known to be taking a hard line on the negotiations and wants the lenders to relieve the company of its full obligations.

Earlier this month Aurizon confirmed it was in early discussions for a rumoured $4b bid, expected to also involve Macquarie Group and Canadian investor Brookfield.

In the offer, the company has promised to lower port charges, which has long been one of the main concerns at the terminal.

As part of the deal, Macquarie Group hopes to buy some of the coal terminal's source mines, including Glencore's Rollestone Mine.