Shanghai Electric wins EPC contract for Australian solar project
280 MW project is being developed by SIMEC Energy Australia, represents first stage of steel plant cogeneration plan
12 Jun 2019 | Michael Marray

Shanghai Electric has won the Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) contract for the Cultana solar project in South Australia.

The 280 MW project is being developed by SIMEC Energy Australia, which is part of Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance. The international group has ambitious plans for steel manufacturing and power generation in South Australia.

These include cogeneration at GFG’s Whyalla Primary Steel plant using waste gas, and pumped hydro projects at GFG’s Middleback Ranges mining operations. The A$350 million (US$243.55) Cultana solar farm represents the first stage.

Shanghai Electric has also signed an O&M contract for the Cultana project, which has received final permission from the South Australian government. Wuxi Suntech has already been chosen as the solar panel supplier.

Chinese construction involvement often brings in Chinese bank debt with it, and three Chinese lenders have already been lined up.

“Cultana Solar Farm is an ambitious project that will deliver globally-competitive renewable energy on a large scale to power-heavy industry.

GFG Alliance entered the Australian market when Gupta’s acquired bankrupt steel manufacturer Arrium, which operated the Whyalla steel works.

That deal closed in September 2017, when GFG Alliance formally acquired the former Arrium Mining and Arrium Steel businesses, including Australia’s leading steel manufacturer and distributor, OneSteel.

To reflect this change, the former Arrium Mining was renamed SIMEC Mining and OneSteel re-branded as Liberty OneSteel. Gupta’s plans include establishing a new Next-Gen steel manufacturing facility in Whyalla, which will be partially powered by his associated renewable energy projects.

Have you read?