According to Reuters India's Adani Enterprises has applied for financing from an Australian infrastructure fund in order to build a rail line that is part of a US$16 billion coal project in the state of Queensland.
The Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility will consider a request of AUS$5 billion boost to Adani after some major banks said they would not participate in the controversial coal project.
Adani has battled opposition from environmentalists since starting work on the Carmichael development over five years ago.
"Matthew Canavan has reportedly said that the NAIF is carefully considering the proposal at the moment, and confirmed that Adani had not yet asked for financing for parts of the project other than the rail line.
The Australian government established the NAIF last year to promote the economic development of Australia's north by offering loans for infrastructure projects including airports ports and railroads.
Adani, which has secured the major state and federal government approvals it needs for Carmichael, has still to announce funding for the project. Green groups are demanding that bands refuse to finance the project and and a number, including Germany's Deutsche Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, have already stated they will not participate. Comprising six open-cut pits, five underground collieries and the rail line, to the Queensland coast, environmentalists also fear the mine will produce so much coal for export to India that it will require a mega-port expansion into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
The Indian company is aiming to start construction in the middle of this year, and has agreed to hire local workers for the project.
Adani has said the project would not threaten the reef, while creating thousand of jobs and providing India with cleaner burning coal only found in Australia.
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