AUSTRALIAN renewable energy company SunCable has named Bell Bay as the preferred site for an advanced cable manufacturing facility.
The proposed facility would aim to address global supply constraints of HVDC subsea cable – according to the Tasmanian government, all advanced HVDC subsea cable facilities are located in the Northern Hemisphere.
SunCable identified Bell Bay because of its size and proximity to a natural deep-water port, rail infrastructure and renewable energy infrastructure.
The proposed facility would include customised port facilities for the transport of finished product loaded on specialised cable laying vessels.
It would also large integrated workshop buildings for the cable manufacture, storage, testing and supporting offices, as well as a tower for the critical vertical manufacturing processes required to produce advanced subsea cables.
If the proposed facility proceeds in Tasmania, it would also be a critical enabler of SunCable’s flagship AAPowerLink project.
Tasmanian premier Jeremy Rockliff said 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,” he said.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for the northern region and confirms that Tasmania has what the world wants.”
SunCable chief projects officer Chris Tyrrell highlighted the abundance of sunshine and wind in Australia.
“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.”
SunCable plans to work in partnership with the Tasmanian government to develop the required workforce and training and development programs designed to 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.