Sun Cable says sale confirmed, aim is to proceed with Australia-S’pore power link

Solar panel arrays covering 12,000ha about 800km to the south of Darwin, Australia. PHOTO: SUNCABLE ENERGY

HONG KONG – The collapsed US$20 billion (S$27 billion) Sun Cable renewable energy project has been rescued by part owner and Australian technology entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes, the company said on Friday.

Voluntary administrators of Sun Cable will now work with Helietta Holdings 1 Pty Ltd, an entity affiliated with Mr Cannon-Brookes’ Grok Ventures, to complete the transaction, Sun Cable said in a statement.

Completion of the deal is expected to occur on or before the end of July.

Sun Cable’s mega project includes the proposed Australia-Asia PowerLink, which would send power from a 20 gigawatt (GW) solar farm with the world’s biggest battery in northern Australia across a 4,200km undersea cable to Singapore.

In the statement, it said the buyer’s intention was to continue to progress the Australia-Asia Power Link project to a final investment decision, with Stage 1 to deliver 0.9GW of generation into Darwin and 1.8GW into Singapore. 

The administrators would work with the buyer to facilitate ongoing development of the power link in the period up to completion.

The value of the sale was not disclosed, but the transaction is expected to allow the unsecured creditors of Sun Cable to be paid in full.

“A big step in the right direction. We’ve always believed in the possibilities Sun Cable presents in exporting our boundless sunshine, and what it could mean for Australia,” Mr Cannon-Brookes said in a statement.

“It’s time to stretch our country’s ambition. We need to take big swings if we are going to be a renewable energy superpower. So swing we will.”

Sun Cable was placed in administration in January after its owners failed to agree on future funding plans.

The Singapore-based firm was owned by the private firms of two of Australia’s richest people, Mr Andrew Forrest’s Squadron Energy and Mr Cannon-Brookes’ Grok Ventures.

Squadron had called for an overhaul of Sun Cable’s plans, and Mr Forrest had said he would scrap the cable to Singapore.

Squadron did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Infrastructure investor Quinbrook joined a Grok-led consortium to buy Sun Cable, Grok said in a statement. REUTERS

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