Sun Cable has announced that a team of world-leading experts will be helping to deliver the $30 billion Australia-Asia PowerLink (AAPowerLink), which is set to be one of the world’s largest renewable energy projects. 

The Integrated Project Delivery Team (IPDT) includes: Bechtel, Hatch, Marsh, PwC Australia and SMEC (Surbana Jurong Group), with each company from different regions to drive the future of renewable energy in Australia and the Indo-Pacific. 

  • Bechtel (Project Delivery): one of the world’s most respected engineering, construction and project management companies
  • Hatch (HVDC Transmission): a global engineering, project management, and professional services company, and leader in complex engineering solutions
  • Marsh (Risk Management): the world’s leading insurance broker and risk advisor
  • PwC Australia (Project Advisory), part of the PwC global network, delivering financial advisory, legal, consulting and assurance professional services, comprising an integrated infrastructure offering
  • SMEC (Solar Generation System): a global specialist engineering and design consultancy, and member of the Surbana Jurong Group, a provider of best-in-class infrastructure development solutions

Following the recent granting of the subsea cable route recommendation from the Indonesian Government and approval to undertake the next stage of the subsea cable survey, the appointment of the project management team is the next key milestone in delivering reliable, renewable energy from Australia to Asia. 

The world’s biggest renewable project 

The AAPowerLink plans to harness Australia’s abundant solar energy resource to deliver world-class dispatchable, competitively priced renewable electricity into Darwin, Australia and Singapore. 

Sun Cable will integrate a range of technologies and infrastructure to develop one of the world’s largest solar farms, to be located in the Northern Territory, Australia (17-20 GWp); the world’s largest battery (36-42 GWh); and the world’s longest undersea High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable system from Darwin to Singapore (approx 4,200 km).

The AAPowerLink will also unlock direct investment and job opportunities, R&D, knowledge sharing, and open up future growth in new and emerging industries. 

The AAPowerLink will be a high-capacity solar generation, storage, and transmission system that aims to transmit reliable, dispatchable renewable electricity from the Barkly Region of the Northern Territory to Darwin and Singapore markets. 

Its key components are:

  • A solar farm precinct including energy storage and voltage source converter (VSC)
  • High voltage direct current (HVDC) overhead transmission line (OHTL) from the solar farm to Darwin
  • VSC’s and a utility-scale battery in Darwin
  • A subsea HVDC cable system from Darwin to Singapore 
  • A VSC and utility-scale battery in Singapore

The project is expected to begin construction from late 2023, with first supply of electricity to Darwin in 2026 and first electricity to Singapore in 2027 (full capacity by end of 2028).

Each carefully selected company in the IPDT has a proven track record in developing and delivering complex infrastructure projects, together with a strong commitment to renewable energy giga-projects and providing global solutions to achieve net zero targets. 

Their combined experience across environmental, social and governance frameworks will also be essential in delivering a project of such scale and significance.

Sun Cable is developing the AAPowerLink to provide renewable electricity to Darwin, in support of the Northern Territory’s ambition to develop an $40 billion economy by 2030. 

In recognition of partnership with the Northern Territory Government, Sun Cable signed a Project Delivery Agreement with the Chief Minister, Michael Gunner MLA, and was granted major project status in Jul 2019. 

Mr Gunner, said, “The Australia-Asia PowerLink will inject $8 billion into the Australian economy, with most of it being spent right here in the Northern Territory.

 “Sun Cable has established an office in the Territory and employed more than a dozen Darwin firms for initial works.

“This project continues to build momentum and create more jobs and opportunities for Territorians, and is another massive sign of confidence in the comeback capital.”

Sun Cable is engaging with the First Nations stakeholders inclusive of Traditional Owners, recognised Native Title Owners, neighbouring communities, and Land Councils. 

The AAPowerLink will also be capable of supplying up to 15 per cent of Singapore’s electricity needs, with full capacity available from 2028. 

Sun Cable’s modelling shows AAPowerLink could reduce Singapore’s emissions by 6 million tonnes per year, matching the entire climate abatement gap in Singapore’s announced 2030 targets.

Sun Cable introduces the world-leading team 

David Griffin, Sun Cable CEO, said, “To secure the support of these globally recognised experts is an important vote of confidence in the significance and feasibility of Sun Cable’s Australia-Asia PowerLink. 

“Sun Cable is proud to have the expertise of Bechtel, Hatch, SMEC, Marsh, and PwC  Australia reinforcing our team, as we deliver this game-changing infrastructure for Australia, Indonesia and Singapore. 

“This project is designed to significantly accelerate the carbon zero ambitions of the region and we have brought together a dream team to bring it to fruition.”

By unlocking the vast, world-class solar, and land resources that Australia has available, Sun Cable plans to create a pathway for a new export industry, generating up to $2 billion per annum in exports for Australia, and forecasts the potential to directly and indirectly employ tens of thousands in Australia, Indonesia and Singapore. 

Scott Osborne, SVP & GM Infrastructure – Asia Pacific, Bechtel, said, “Bechtel is excited to join Sun Cable’s impressive team as it sets out to deliver this world-leading solar project.”

Robert Francki, Hatch Global Managing Director Energy, said, “As we shift to a low carbon world, projects like the AAPowerLink are vitally important to transforming how we generate and distribute power.” 

James Phillis, CEO, SMEC Australia and New Zealand, said, “The Australia-Asia PowerLink will be the world’s largest solar energy infrastructure network and will be a game-changer for the renewable energy sector worldwide. 

“As a member of the project delivery team, SMEC is excited to be a critical force in bringing this project to life – as a key technical partner SMEC will be harnessing our solar and renewables expertise and innovation to deliver a project of this size, scale and importance.” 

Wong Heang Fine, Group CEO, Surbana Jurong, said, “Surbana Jurong is very excited to be part of this multi-national project development team whose vision is in step with Singapore’s goal to intensify solar energy deployment.

“Surbana Jurong pioneered the design and construction of Singapore’s critical infrastructure in the early years of nation-building, and is now actively contributing to the ecosystem to find innovative ways to help Singapore transition to cleaner energy, a key goal in the Singapore 2030 Green Plan.”

Nick Harris, Chief Executive Officer – Pacific, Marsh, said, “By harnessing Australia’s position as the G20’s highest per capita solar source, this project will deliver a large volume of renewable energy over a longer distance than ever before.”

Tom Seymour, CEO, PwC Australia, said, “This complex and ambitious project is unlike anything previously developed. It will make a generational impact on Australia and Singapore. 

“AAPowerLink is spread across three jurisdictions, including Singapore and Indonesia, and requires a new and innovative project delivery team model to get it done. We are delighted to be joining forces with four highly-regarded global firms to bring AAPowerLink to life. 

“AAPowerLink will help solve Australia’s carbon emissions footprint, provide once-in-a-lifetime economic opportunities for communities including First Nations Peoples across the Northern Territory and supply chain businesses across Australia. 

“It will pave the way for a new Australian export industry that will create jobs and change lives.”

The AAPowerLink’s total carbon emissions abatement is estimated at 8.6 million tonnes of CO2e per year.

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