NAIF extension granted for Kidston as project faces troubled waters

Kidston
Image: Genex Power

Genex Power is facing delays with its Kidston pumped hydro project in north Queensland after failing to secure an off-take agreement with EnergyAustralia that was announced earlier this year.

EnergyAustralia stalled on a contract to buy power from the project, sending the share price down 46 per cent. Genex co-founder Simon Kidston said he was “blindsided” by the move by EnergyAustralia, when the project was on schedule to reach financial close by the end of the year.

The agreement with EnergyAustralia would enable Genex access to a $610 million Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility Loan (NAIF).

Genex has today announced it has been given an extension for the NAIF loan until June 30, 2020.

Mr Kidston told the AFR he was confident a restructured agreement with EnergyAustralia would allow the Genex loan and J-Power’s equity deal (a $25 million share subscription agreement) to go ahead.

“We are committed to banking this project and understand EA is happy to look at options that fit within their operational constraints,” he said.

Related article: Qld Govt backs Kidston with $132m transmission line

Genex said in a statement the company is continuing to work with the NAIF team and its other stakeholders to complete the restructuring of the project financing.

Genex CEO James Harding said the continuing support of NAIF reflects the significance of the project to Northern Australia.

“Notwithstanding the setback earlier this month, we are continuing to maintain the momentum built up this year for the project and with the support of NAIF and our other stakeholders, we are progressing the restructuring of the transaction with a view to achieving financial close on this iconic project as soon as possible,” Mr Harding said.

“We will continue to keep the market informed as these activities progress.”