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Infrastructure Australia has announced that SunCable’s Australia-Asia PowerLink (AAPowerLink) has met all requirements of the Infrastructure Priority list and is now ‘investment ready’. 

The progression to the Stage 3 ‘investment-ready’ status represents years of commitment, ground work and progress from the Territory Government and the projects’ stakeholders.

The AAPowerLink is the world’s largest solar, storage and transmission system that will transmit renewable electricity from the Barkly Region of the Northern Territory to Darwin and Singapore and 

The AAPowerLink is targeted to reach financial close by the start of 2024. Construction will commence in 2024, with electricity supplied to Darwin in 2027 and full operations by 2029.

The Territory Labor Government has been supporting the $30+ billion project from the beginning – awarding it Major Project Status in 2019, and passing facilitating project legislation in May 2022 to continue to propel the project forward.

The project will deliver $8 billion in expected investment into Australia and $2 billion in expected annual export revenues from 2028.

The Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Natasha Fyles, welcomed the Infrastructure Australia announcement and said the AAPowerLink will position the Territory as a renewable energy powerhouse. 

“The Territory is the best place to do business in Australia, and the new project legislation proves that,” Ms Fyles said. 

“The Territory Labor Government is aiming for a $40 billion economy by 2030 to accelerate jobs and population growth. Projects like Sun Cable’s Australia-Asia Power-Link are exactly the sorts of projects which will help us get there.”

The AAPowerLink will deliver significant benefits to Australia, including 800MW of zero carbon electricity for Northern Australia, supporting prospective industrial loads and 2.6 million tonnes of estimated carbon emissions abatement.

14,000 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be created by the AAPowerLink, most of which will be in Australia, including

  • 120 jobs during project development
  • 1,750 direct jobs during construction
  • 350 jobs during operation
  • 12,000 indirect jobs

The AAPowerLink was first recognised by Infrastructure Australia on its Infrastructure Priority List in 2021, noting the significant opportunity to harness the Northern Territory’s competitive advantage by developing large-scale, dispatchable renewable energy generation, supported by transmission infrastructure to supply domestic and export markets.

Sun Cable Founder and CEO, David Griffin, said the PowerLink progressions means that the project is economically viable and will deliver significant benefits for Australia and the region. 

“The AAPowerLink will enable a stronger economy for the long term through contracts, wages and economic diversification. 

“It will spur enhanced capacity and skills in the construction and technology sectors as a result of jobs and training over the lifetime of the project, and pave the way for new green industries to be established, and to thrive.”

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