The Sun Metals Corporation zinc refinery in Townsville this week officially commissioned their new $200 million 125MWac solar farm.
“Sun Metals’ mission is to become the safest, the most environmentally responsible and the most competitive zinc refinery in the world,” Sun Metals chief executive officer Yun Choi said.
“The solar farm is an excellent example of our commitment to the mission and the journey. I would like to thank and congratulate each and every one of our employees, contractors and partners for their dedication and contribution, without which none of this would be possible.
“I would also like to specially thank RCR Tomlinson, the EPC contractor of the solar farm, for doing a splendid job in building the solar farm.”
Mr Choi said the solar farm gave Sun Metals the ability to produce 30 per cent of its own electricity for the refinery, while providing an opportunity to sell the electricity to the grid when it was beneficial to do so.
“The solar farm is one-of-a-kind in Australia in that it will directly power a large industrial user and export electricity into the National Electricity Market. Now that the solar farm is operational, it will enable the refinery to be the largest single site renewable consumer in Australia,” Mr Choi said.
“The opportunity and competitive edge this solar farm brings to our business means Sun Metals is one step closer to making a final decision regarding the potential expansion of our zinc refinery in Townsville.
“Once we have achieved an acceptable long-term power price agreement and certainty over our road and logistics access to Townsville port, we will be in a position to make a final determination regarding the expansion of our refinery in Townsville.”
The expansion would involve a $300 million investment and was expected to support up to 827 construction jobs during peak construction, as well as a significant increase in permanent workers across the refinery and and its related businesses, Mr Choi said.