SunCable has selected Bell Bay, Tasmania as the preferred site for the development of a high voltage subsea cable manufacturing facility, which could be critical in the delivery of SunCable’s 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.
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 that 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,” Mr 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 that Tasmania was the preferred site for the new SunCable Manufacturing facility.
“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,” Mr Rockliff said.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for the northern region and confirms that Tasmania has what the world wants.
“Our Government’s long-term plan supports major developments and investments in Tasmania as we continue to create jobs, boost the economy and make Tasmania the best place to work, live and raise a family.
Deputy Premier and local Member for Bass, Michael Ferguson, said that the positive economic impact of the project would be felt in the region for generations to come.
“SunCable’s Manufacturing facility would inject billions into the Tasmanian economy and I’m sure numerous Tasmanian businesses will see the flow on benefits of having such a project in our State,” Mr Ferguson said.
“This project would provide an exciting career path for the next generation of kids in the Tamar region and Tasmania more broadly.
“It is a huge vote of confidence in the Tasmanian economy, and our Government welcomes the role the private sector plays in Tasmania.”
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.
SunCable will also work with George Town, West Tamar and Launceston Local Government Areas to progress plans for the site.
If SunCable proceeds with the Bell Bay site, construction is scheduled to commence in 2025 and first manufactured cable in 2029.