Britain’s BG Group has secured a $1.8 billion loan to underpin its ongoing development of the $20 billion Queensland Curtis liquefied natural gas (QCLNG) project off Australia.

The London-listed explorer said that the loan from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (US Ex-Im) would “support the export of US services and equipment” for the Australian LNG project.

Due on stream in 2014, QCLNG will have an initial capacity of 8.5 million tonnes a year, expandable to 12 million tonnes a year.

BG Group admitted earlier this year that the project would cost 19% more than previously thought, $20.4 billion, in a $5.4 billion cost blowout attributed to the strengthening Australian exchange rate to the US dollar.

Monday’s loan move is also aimed at diversifying BG Group’s funding sources through a series of loans and equity placements to support large-scale projects in its LNG-focused portfolio.

Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the Brazilian Development Bank and Export Development Canada have all inked funding deals with BG Group in recent months.

In November, BG Group agreed a new $3 billion syndicated facility to hike its total undrawn borrowing availability to $5.2 billion.

The company says it has raised $7.7 billion from capital markets since October 2011 including $2.1 billion in hybrid bonds.

In October, BG Group agreed to sell off a stake in QCLNG to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and supply LNG to the Chinese company for $1.93 billion.