Major milestone for Australia-ASEAN Power Link project

Australia-ASEAN Power Link
Sun Cable's proposed solar farm

Sun Cable and the Northern Territory Government (NTG) today signed a milestone agreement to facilitate the Australia-ASEAN Power Link (AAPL), that will see the Territory host one of the world’s largest renewable energy systems.

The project includes a solar and storage precinct near Elliott, in the Barkly Region, high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission connecting the precinct to the Darwin-Katherine Interconnected System (DKIS) and proposed Middle Arm Battery and a HVDC submarine link to Singapore.

The 70-year, $22B project will create about 1500 jobs during construction and 350 jobs during operations, as well as $1B in exports.

Signing on behalf of the Northern Territory Government, Chief Minister Michael Gunner said, “Today’s announcement is a big step forward for the Territory–for our energy security and our job security.

“This project will put the NT on the international map when it comes to renewables.

“It will also see hundreds of Territorians find work in the Barkly and Darwin regions during the construction and operational phases.

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“This project will transform the Territory into a renewable energy powerhouse, and cement our position as Australia’s comeback capital,” the Chief Minister said.

Sun Cable CEO David Griffin said the AAPL project would generate and transmit dispatchable, competitively priced, renewable energy at scale.

“This will provide affordable, reliable energy to support industrial growth in Darwin, as well as supplying up to 20 per cent of Singapore’s electricity needs,” he said.

“The Australia-ASEAN Power Link project will help the Northern Territory make deep cuts to its emissions intensity by decoupling economic growth from carbon pollution,” he said.

Benefits of the project include:

  • a world-leading renewable energy transmission system;
  • economic diversification for the Northern Territory;
  • reliable, affordable dispatchable power;
  • providing cost effective electricity supply to facilitate new manufacturing, minerals processing and data centre projects;
  • a major boost to the Territory’s construction sector and a range of other services and suppliers;
  • a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the Northern Territory, Australia and the Indo-Pacific, helping the Territory achieve its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050;
  • Sun Cable will establish a Renewable Energy Centre of Excellence in the Territory, drawing on existing local solar, electricity and infrastructure expertise to grow research and development of renewables.

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Sun Cable today signed a Project Development Agreement with the Northern Territory Government that recognises the AAPL’s Major Project Status.

Sun Cable will prepare a Territory Benefits Plan, including an Aboriginal workforce development plan and local participation strategy to maximise local jobs and procurement.

The company has engaged Darwin company EcOz to prepare its Environmental Impact Statement for the project.

The project has drawn on the services of another dozen Territory companies, covering environmental services, ecological and geotechnical surveys, architecture, legal, strategic communication and maintenance.

The company expects AAPL’s financial close to be in late 2023, with first electricity to Darwin by 2026 and Singapore from 2027.