Financing for Australia’s largest LNG project to date, Ichthys, is expected to be signed this week, according to industry sources.

A source close to the deal tells GTR that the US$20bn project “is in a sensitive stage for financing”, and therefore cannot disclose information about the participants or amounts. However, GTR learns that HSBC, Coface and the Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (Nexi) are involved.

Other institutions said to be participating are BTMU, SMBC, Mizuho, CBA, ANZ, NAB, ICBC, Société Générale and Bayerische Landesbank, as well as JBIC, Kexim, Hermes, Atradius and EFIC. None of these were able to confirm their involvement when contacted by GTR.

The Ichthys project, located near Darwin, Australia, is operated by Japanese oil and gas firm Inpex in joint venture with Total and Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Chubu Electric and Toho Gas. It is expected to contribute massively to Japan’s energy needs after the country stopped all nuclear activity in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster.