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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark Bailey

    210 new jobs as Sun Metals solar powers North Queensland Clean Energy Boom

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark Bailey

    Wednesday, May 17, 2017

    210 new jobs as Sun Metals solar powers North Queensland Clean Energy Boom

    Construction has begun on Queensland’s largest industrial solar project which will see 1.3 million solar panels installed at the Sun Metals zinc refinery in North Queensland.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Energy Minister Mark Bailey, Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke and Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper were in Townsville today to tour the refinery and project site which, when completed, will deliver a new 125 megawatt renewable energy power station.

    The Premier said this style of expansion was a prime example of the role renewable energy will play in the State’s future industrial landscape.

    “Upon completion Sun Metals will be the largest single site user of renewable energy,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “This is a unique project and is a great example of an innovative company investing in its future and North Queensland.”

    “This investment will help Sun Metals to secure its output by stabilising production costs, and will provide even more job security to the refinery’s 291 employees.”

    Mr Bailey said this impressive solar project would also see the creation of 210 solar powered jobs during construction.

    “Through government-owned Powerlink, the Palaszczuk Government will facilitate connection of Sun Metal’s new power station to the grid,” Mr Bailey said.

    “This solar farm will see renewable energy added into Korea Zinc’s mix of base-load power required to run its zinc production line – with the solar farm supplying about a third of the refinery’s current baseload power needs.

    “Use of renewable energy in this way not only demonstrates it as a reliable energy source for large-scale industry, but that Korea Zinc is committed to the people of North Queensland, to minimising carbon emissions and protecting the Great Barrier Reef.”

    Mrs O’Rourke said this was another example of the clean energy boom which is occurring in Queensland under the Palaszczuk Government.

    “Since January 2016, Queensland has seen an unprecedented level of renewable energy investment activity in North Queensland with over 780 MW of large-scale projects either commencing construction or securing financial support,” she said.

    “These projects will deliver $1.6 billion of infrastructure spending to the north, while creating over 1,400 construction jobs.”

    Sun Metals Chief Executive Officer Yun Choi said since its 1996 opening the refinery has played a significant economic role in Townsville and Queensland.  

    “Current refinery operations see Sun Metals produce 225,000 tons of Zinc per annum using over 900,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year,” Mr Choi said.

    “The development of the Sun Metals Corporation solar farm will see an additional 125 megawatt capacity of generation available to the National Electricity Market, underpinning the Queensland Government’s solar energy development policy, and a marked reduction in the carbon footprint of the refinery’s operations.

    “The SMC Solar Farm investment of $199 million is the first step in Korea Zinc ensuring the long term viability of the existing refinery and also underpinning the potential for its expansion using world class new technology, with an investment decision due in late 2017.  

    “An expanded refinery would see an additional $267 million invested and is expected to support up to 827 construction jobs during peak construction and an additional 100 permanent refinery workers once operational, all within North Queensland.  

    “The refinery expansion will also see an increase in broader economic activity for Townsville with significant increase in Townsville Port activities, uplift for local suppliers and contractors and also, via use of new refining technology, reduced water usage and environmental outputs.

    “We welcome the support of the Queensland Government and we look forward to partnering to facilitate the expansion of the refinery creating new investment, new jobs and a long term uplift for Port of Townsville operations and the wider Townsville community,” Mr Choi said.

    The Sun Metals solar project is expected to be completed in early 2018 and fully commissioned and providing renewable energy into the refinery’s energy mix by April 2018.


    Media contact:

    Premier's Office: Geoff Breusch  0417 272 875

    Minister Bailey:   Amy Hunter      0423 651 484