BRISBANE, Australia — Australian company Resourcehouse Ltd. said Saturday that it has struck a $60-billion, 20-year agreement to supply coal to China Power International Development Ltd., calling it Australia’s biggest export contract.
The deal is the latest in a string of major contracts between Chinese firms and Australian resource companies as the Asian nation tries to secure the energy, steel and other materials it needs for its surging economy.
Resourcehouse said it would supply 30 million tonnes of coal a year to the Chinese company, at a price of about $3 billion a year, for 20 years starting from about 2014.
The deal will help bring about the planned development of a series of mines and other infrastructure including a 500-kilometre rail line and port facilities in the Galilee Basin in northeastern Queensland state.
“When you need a lot of money there is no better place to get it than in China,” said Clive Palmer, who controls privately-owned Resourcehouse.
“This is Australia’s largest single, non-syndicated, finance deal, and the interest from China highlights the strength of the project and the benefits for Queensland and Australia in developing a new world class coal region such as the Galilee Basin,” he said.
Hong Kong-listed China Power is the flagship company of China Power Investment Corp., one of China’s top five power companies. The company did not immediately comment on the deal with Resourcehouse.