News: UPDATE 1-Australia fast-tracks ambitious $16 bln solar power export project

  1. 115,821 Posts.
    lightbulb Created with Sketch. 1383

    (Adds Sun Cable CEO comments)

    Australia decided this week to fast track approvals for a A$22 billion ($16 billion) project to supply solar power to Singapore via the world's longest subsea high voltage cable, a move to boost recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

    The Australia-ASEAN Power Link project, run by Singapore-based Sun Cable, envisions a 10 gigawatt solar farm and energy storage facility of up to 30 GWh in the Northern Territory, with a 4,500-km (2,800-mile) link to Singapore and eventually Indonesia.

    Sun Cable Chief Executive David Griffin said on Thursday the government's granting of major project status for AAPL would make the approvals process for the project "much easier" and could help it beat its late-2023 target for securing financing.

    "We're trying very hard to bring forward at least elements of the project," Griffin told Reuters.

    The company wants to build an early phase of the big battery it plans in Darwin and aims to build a factory in Darwin next year to manufacture Maverick solar modules, which it will eventually use at the giant proposed solar farm, he said.

    Maverick is a product made by private Australian firm 5B, which on Thursday completed a A$12 million capital raising, backed by U.S. power company AES Corp AES.N .

    Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the AAPL project was strategically important for Australia, the world's top coal and liquefied natural gas exporter, to remain a major energy exporter, and for its potential to create hundreds of jobs.

    "It's a strong statement to all Australians that despite the immediate challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic...industry is still investing in opportunities that will drive our economic recovery and create much needed jobs," he said in a statement.

    AAPL won major project status a year ago from the Northern Territory.

    "We've made massive progress over the last 12 months, but we do still have a long way to go," Griffin said. ($1=A$1.3961)

arrow-down-2 Created with Sketch. arrow-down-2 Created with Sketch.