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The Federal Government has granted Major Project Status to Sun Cable’s proposed Australian-ASEAN Power Link (AAPL) in order to fast-track the project.

The project is set to be Australia’s largest renewable energy infrastructure project and one of the world’s largest dispatchable renewable electricity systems, supported by the world’s largest battery and solar farm in the Barkly region near Tennant Creek.

Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said the project would create 1,500 Australian jobs during construction, 350 ongoing jobs in Australia, as well as indirectly supporting around 12,000 Australian jobs. 

It will also see the production of a new solar farm manufacturing facility.

“This project draws on Australia’s world-class solar technology and our high-tech manufacturing capability to export renewable energy on an unprecedented scale,” Ms Andrews said.

“Not only will this power link make Australia a world-leader, it will also create significant economic and employment opportunities here at home with about $8 billion of the $22 billion investment to be injected directly into Australia.

“It’s a strong statement to all Australians that despite the immediate challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic we will come out the other side stronger and industry is still investing in opportunities that will drive our economic recovery and create much needed jobs.”

Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said projects like this will help maintain Australia’s long-standing position as an energy exporting powerhouse. 

“Australia has long been a world leader in energy exports,” Mr Taylor said. 

“As technologies change, we can capitalise on our strengths in renewables to continue to lead the world in energy exports.”

Sun Cable CEO, David Griffin, said, “Sun Cable is delighted that the AAPL has been granted Major Project Status. 

“It is a significant milestone for the AAPL, which will see Australia become a world leader in renewable electricity trade, generating approximately $2 billion worth of exports for Australia annually. 

“This project is helping to grow a new industry, utilising intercontinental HVDC submarine transmission systems, to supply renewable electricity to major load centres in the Indo-Pacific and support the region’s low-emissions goals,” Mr Griffin said.

Major Project Status is the Commonwealth Government’s recognition of the strategic significance of a project to Australia. 

It provides companies with extra support from the Major Projects Facilitation Agency, including a single entry point for Commonwealth Government approvals, project support and coordination, and help with state and territory approvals.

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