SunCable eyes Tasmania for subsea cable manufacturing

Subsea cable being lowered into blue-green ocean waters (suncable tasmania)

SunCable has named Bell Bay in Tasmania as its preferred site to build an advanced high-voltage subsea cable manufacturing facility. Should it proceed in Tasmania, it would also be a critical enabler of SunCable’s flagship AAPowerLink project.

The construction of a purpose-built facility will help solve global supply constraints of HVDC subsea cable. Currently, all advanced HVDC subsea cable facilities are located in the Northern Hemisphere. The proposed facility will support a globally significant renewable energy supply chain ecosystem in Australia and drive domestic demand for critical minerals and processing industries.

Related article: Cannon-Brooke’s Grok Ventures takes the wheel at SunCable

The potential site, at Bell Bay, has been identified due to its unique advantages including its size and proximity to one of the country’s few natural deep-water ports, rail infrastructure and renewable energy infrastructure.

The proposed facility will include:

  • large integrated workshop buildings for the cable manufacture, storage, testing and supporting offices
  • customised port facilities for the transport of finished product loaded on specialised cable laying vessels
  • a tower for the critical vertical manufacturing processes required to ensure the production of the highest quality advanced subsea cables.

The future-facing facility would include a state-of-the-art advanced cable manufacturing process and require many current trades and skills as well as new capabilities unique to the advanced high voltage cable making industry. The facility will typically use around 25-40MW of renewable energy to enable the cable making.

SunCable chief projects officer Chris Tyrrell said the use of high voltage subsea cables over long distances has a critical role to play in the global energy transition and solving for the transmission of green electrons within and between countries.

“Australia has an abundance of sunshine and wind. HVDC cable enables the export of this natural resource to the world, establishing Australia as a renewable energy superpower as well as an advanced manufacturing hub for critical supply chains,” Tyrrell said.

“SunCable will soon commence consultation with local communities and stakeholders. We welcome further input and feedback before proceeding with a final decision and subsequent development applications.”

Premier of Tasmania, Jeremy Rockliff, welcomed the news, saying, “The proposed facility has the potential to significantly boost the region’s economic prospects. A project of this size could create over 800 construction jobs, and over 400 long-term advanced manufacturing roles across a diverse range of trades, skills and capabilities.”

Related article: Commonwealth agrees to fund 49% of Marinus Link

SunCable will work in partnership with the Tasmanian Government to identify and develop the required workforce, as well as training and development programs that will enable the renewable energy transition.

If SunCable proceeds with the Bell Bay site, construction is scheduled to commence in 2025 and first manufactured cable in 2029.

Previous articleSquadron proposes 420MW wind farm in Victoria
Next articleARENA reports huge demand for community batteries