Equis to build two solar plants in Australia

The solar project by Equis in the Philippines. The energy developer, which is based in Singapore, will have another two projects in Australia, bringing its number of renewable energy projects under development and construction to 49.
The solar project by Equis in the Philippines. The energy developer, which is based in Singapore, will have another two projects in Australia, bringing its number of renewable energy projects under development and construction to 49.PHOTO: EQUIS

MELBOURNE • Equis Energy said yesterday it plans to build two solar power plants at a cost of A$400 million (S$429 million) in Australia, marking the Singapore-based renewable energy developer's first investments in the country.

The two 100MW solar plants would be in South Australia and Queensland, moving the country a step closer towards the federal government's target for at least 20 per cent of nationwide power to come from renewable energy by 2020, Reuters said.

The South Australian plant, Tailem Bend, would be built next to a diesel-fired power station owned by Snowy Hydro, which had agreed to buy all the power from the solar plant, Equis said.

It also added that construction was due to begin in early 2017.

"By developing the Tailem Bend Solar Project and Snowy Hydro diesel projects together, the combined system will have the capability of providing stable power any time of the day across the entire year," Equis group chief executive David Russell said in a statement.

The second solar plant would be built in Collinsville North, where construction would also begin this year.

Equis said it had also secured land rights that would allow it to build a further 1,000MW of large-scale solar projects, which it aimed to build "over the near term".

  • $429m

    Cost of Singapore-based renewable energy developer Equis Energy's two solar power plants in Australia.

  • 100MW

    Capacity of each solar plant - in South Australia and Queensland.

The company, founded by bankers who worked for Macquarie Group's Korea infrastructure fund, said it had completed 33 utility- scale renewable energy projects in Asia in the past three years.

The two projects in Australia bring the number of renewable energy projects under development and construction by Equis to 49.

The largest independent infrastructure fund manager in Asia has US$2.7 billion (S$3.8 billion) of funds. Of this amount, it has allocated US$2.4 billion to renewable energy, according to the Business Times.

The group has built up a portfolio of 3.6 gigawatts of renewable energy projects in Asia.

It has a presence in Thailand (for solar energy), India (solar, wind, hydro), the Philippines (solar, wind, hydro) and Japan (solar and wind).

Besides Australia, Equis is also moving into Indonesia and Taiwan.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2017, with the headline 'Equis to build two solar plants in Australia'. Print Edition | Subscribe