Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal has appealed a Supreme Court decision. File photo.
Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal has appealed a Supreme Court decision. File photo. MECHIELSEN LYNDON

Gladstone business appeals decision on $130m claim

A GLADSTONE business has appealed a supreme court decision that dashed hopes of recovering millions in debt it claimed it was owed by New Hope Corporation.

Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal filed the appeal with the New South Wales Court of Appeal last month in relation to the Supreme Court decision in July.

Court proceedings between the two businesses began in December last year when WICET claimed New Hope owed the Gladstone terminal $130 million as a result of Northern Energy Corporation and Colton Coal Pty Ltd going into administration.

Colton Coal and Northern Energy Corporation Limited were wholly owned subsidiaries of New Hope Corporation - which is one of the five original miner owners of WICET.

Colton Coal had contracted 500,000 tonnes a year of coking coal to WICET.

But that coal never made it to the terminal, because Colton Coal and Northern Energy Corporation went into administration in October 2018.

WICET claimed New Hope Corporation needed to repay $3.6million in unsecured claims from Northern Energy Corporation and $128.7million from Colton Coal, under a deed of cross-guarantee.

But the New South Wales Supreme Court Justice James Stevenson ruled New Hope did not guarantee the obligations of the companies.

At the time New Hope welcomed the result and said, "(we) are pleased to acknowledge today's decision ... and the court's conclusion that the company has not guaranteed the debts of NEC and Colton Coal".

A hearing date is yet to be set for the appeal.

Several of WICET's original miner owners have gone into administration, with the current owners being Glencore, Acquila Resources, Coronado Curragh and Yancoal.