International metals giant Korea Zinc has announced it will take a 30 per cent stake in one of Australia’s largest wind projects, the massive 923MW MacIntyre wind farm that is being built by Acciona in south-west Queensland.
Korea Zinc subsidiary Ark Energy take a nearly one-third share in the wind farm, which will begin construction later this year, with the Spain-based Acciona retaining 70%, as well as responsibility for managing the project through its development, construction, operations and maintenance stages.
A further 103MW project, called the Karara wind farm, is being built – also by Acciona – next door to the MacIntyre project by Queensland state government-owned utility, CleanCo, taking the overall capacity of the wind energy hub to a whopping 1026MW.
CleanCo has also signed a 10-year power purchase agreement with Acciona to take the output from 400MW of the main MacIntyre project, which will also now deliver clean power to another Korea Zinc subsidiary, the Townsville based Sun Metals zinc refinery.
Sun Metals, which is targeting 100 per cent renewables by 2040, has been a trail-blazer in Australia for sustainable industrial growth, including becoming the first major energy user to build its own large scale solar farm in Australia in 2017.
Last year, the Queensland-based refiner announced it would also develop one of north Queensland’s first renewable hydrogen production facilities, at the Sun Metals zinc refinery in Townsville, after securing a $5 million Queensland government grant.
Korea Zinc CEO Yun B. Choi said this week that his company’s participation in the MacIntyre project reflected its commitment to renewable energy in Australia.
“We are very pleased to have established a long-term relationship to carry out this exciting project, unique in its size, which represents a major step forward for our respective businesses,” he said.
“Having Korean Zinc as a partner in this landmark project is a privilege and marks a milestone in MacIntyre’s development,” said Acciona chair and CEO José Manuel Entrecanales.
“Our companies share a common goal to pioneer clean energy and this partnership is the perfect example of how two companies from different sectors can work together to deliver flagship renewables infrastructure,” he said.
According to a statement on Tuesday, the two projects will jointly mobilise investments of around $A2 billion and will be key to Queensland’s goal of achieving a 50% renewable electricity share by 2030.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the second half of this year and generate up to 400 jobs and local investment exceeding $A500 million.
The wind farms will use 180 Nordex Delta 4000 turbines of 5.7MW each, the latest generation of turbines by the German manufacturer, and which will be the largest wind turbines in Australia to date.
The wind farm complex will start operating in stages to ensure connection to the grid with full technical guarantees for the state electricity system, with the aim of being fully operational by 2024.