Korea Zinc Company invests in Australia’s renewable energy sector
13 Feb 2017
Sun Metals Corporation, a subsidiary of Korea Zinc Company, is developing a 100MW solar farm to supply power to its zinc refinery in Townsville, northern Queensland.
In a speech to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, Sun Metals CEO Yun Choi says the solar farm is the first stage of the company’s planned A$460 million investment in Townsville over the next five years.
‘This is pursuant to Sun Metals’ ongoing commitment to being the most energy-efficient zinc refinery in the world, as well as one of the most innovative and sophisticated energy consumers in Australia,’ says Choi. ‘The solar farm will be designed to provide power directly to the [zinc] refinery or to sell electricity out to the grid, depending on the price of electricity and the production of the refinery.’
Stage two of Sun Metals’ planned investment in Townsville is the expansion of its refinery to increase zinc production by 25 per cent. Choi adds that the expansion of the refinery ‘will create about 100 extra jobs directly at the refinery on an ongoing basis’.
Australian company RCR Tomlinson won the A$155 million contract to build the Sun Metals solar farm, which includes engineering, procurement and construction. Paul Dalgleish, RCR Tomlinson Managing Director and CEO, says once complete, the solar farm will be one of Australia’s largest and will create around 250 jobs during peak construction.
‘We look forward to delivering this significant project for Sun Metals and working with the local community in Townsville,’ says Dalgleish.
Australia is one of the top 20 countries worldwide in solar, wind and bioenergy production. Initiatives are furthered by the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Target of reaching 23 per cent of domestic electricity generation through renewable sources by 2020, and its commitment to the global COP21 Paris Agreement.
Founded in Seoul in 1974, Korea Zinc Company is a global non-ferrous metal smelting company. To date, the company has produced approximately one million tonnes of non-ferrous metals – from zinc to lead, gold, silver, and copper as well as rare metals such as indium and gallium.
Sun Metals, a subsidiary of Korea Zinc Company, was formed in 1996 and the Sun Metals zinc refinery in Townsville was built the same year. The refinery currently employs approximately 300 people.