- Region: Oceania
- Energy and Natural Resources
- Overseas Investment Loans
May 31, 2011
- Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC; President & CEO: Hiroshi Watanabe)*1 signed today a loan agreement totaling up to approximately 50 million Australian dollars with Shark Bay Resources Pty Ltd. (SBR), a subsidiary of Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) incorporated in the Commonwealth of Australia (Australia).
- The loan finances a refurbishment of the port facilities of the Shark Bay salt field located in Western Australia. The salt field at Shark Bay, one of the few salt works in which Japanese firms own 100% interest, produces 1.3 million tons of solar salt annually, or 15.5% of Japan’s annual demand, of which approximately 300,000 tons are supplied to Japan.
- Aside from being used as food, large quantities of salt are consumed by the soda industry (in the production of soda ash, caustic soda, chlorine etc.) which provides basic materials to a wide range of industries. In Japan, the soda industry accounts for about 80% of domestic salt demand, which is wholly met by imports (FY2009: 6.38 million tons). Given the projection that the soda industry is set to grow in China, a country with robust economic growth, there is a prospect of tight salt supply compared to demand in the global marketplace for the years to come. It is therefore vital for Japanese industries to secure long-term, stable salt supply sources.
- JBIC provides this long-term, Australian dollar-denominated loan with the aim of reducing the exchange risk borne by SBR. It will support the salt field project undertaken by the Japanese firm, and thereby contribute to securing material resources that are strategically important for Japan over the long term. JBIC is committed to supporting the development and acquisition of strategically important natural resources through project formulation that utilizes its range of financial instruments and schemes, as well as its risk-assuming function.