A MARKET Sounding exercise has attracted “strong” interest in using the Port of Bell Bay for renewable energy projects.
TasPorts’ market sounding exercise (MSE) aimed to identify large-scale industries interested in using the company’s facilities for renewable energy generation in and around the Port of Bell Bay.
TasPorts CEO Anthony Donald said a broad range of sectors, including in the support of new power generation projects like on-shore and off-shore wind generation, had expressed interest in expansion into the Port of Bell Bay and Bell Bay’s Advanced Manufacturing Zone.
“Wind energy generation attracted the most interest through our MSE and supports what we already knew about the renewables potential of Tasmania’s on and offshore natural wind resource,” he said.
“Just a few months ago an MoU was signed between the Tasmanian government and owners of the Bass Offshore Wind Energy Project to develop an offshore wind farm of up to 2 gigawatts in the Bass Strait.
“Bass Strait has been named as one of the top options for offshore wind energy generation in the country identified by the Australian National Energy Market Organisation and the national Blue Economic Cooperative Research Centre.”
Mr Donald said TasPorts is geographically well-placed to support the development of additional wind farm interests in and around the Port of Bell Bay.
“While the majority of interest expressed through the MSE has come from parties working in wind generation, interest has also been expressed in accessing port land and infrastructure for other projects like oil rig decommissioning, hydrocarbon production asset decommissioning and recycling, renewables fuels storage and export facilities, and manufacturing, construction and engineering facilities,” he said.
“In addition to the 13 expressions of interest attracted through the MSE, TasPorts continues to receive approaches from other major project proponents, developers and others responsible for project logistics.
“This potentially presents a number of major opportunities for Tasmania with the development of new facilities at a time when the state is actively looking for secure renewables projects.”
Mr Donald said Bell Bay was likely to be critical in the delivery of renewable energy-generating projects in Tasmania, and the port was ready to play its part.
“These potential projects will require unprecedented space and have very specific infrastructure requirements,” he said.
“TasPorts is confident that these needs can be met at a port like Bell Bay and its surrounding advanced manufacturing zone.”
“With the MSE process now closed, the data analysis has commenced on the responses gathered to inform trade and development opportunities,” he said.
“TasPorts will now work with customers, industry and the Tasmanian government to ensure that land, infrastructure, supply chains and a skilled workforce are available.”
The aim of the MSE – run by Australian commercial and financial advisory firm Paxon Group – was to identify parties associated with upcoming large-scale operations that were interested in using, operating in, or developing Port of Bell Bay facilities and to understand the development requirements along with the commercial opportunities and options arising from current demand.