TAS chosen as preferred location for subsea cable manufacturing facility

Monica Gameng   |   November 9, 2023
Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone (cr: BBAMZ)

SunCable Manufacturing has named Bell Bay, Tasmania as the preferred location for its proposed advanced high-voltage subsea cable manufacturing facility. 

If the proposed facility is to proceed to construction, it will become a critical enabler of SunCable’s more than $30 billion flagship Australia-Asia Power Link (AAPowerLink) development. 

The purpose-built facility will also help solve global constraints in the supply of HVDC (high-voltage direct current) subsea cables. Currently, all advanced HVDC manufacturing facilities are located in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Bell Bay has been chosen as the preferred location for the manufacturing facility due to its unique advantages that includes its size and proximity to one of the country’s few natural deep-water ports, rail infrastructure as well as renewable energy infrastructure. 

“Australia has an abundance of sunshine and wind. HVDC cable enables the export of this natural resource to the world, establishing Australia as a renewable energy superpower as well as an advanced manufacturing hub for critical supply chains. 

“SunCable will soon commence consultation with local communities and stakeholders. We welcome further input and feedback before proceeding with a final decision and subsequent development applications,” SunCable Chief Projects Officer Chris Tyrell said. 

The proposed facility will include: 

  • Large integrated workshop buildings for cable manufacture, storage, testing and supporting offices 
  • Customised port facilities for the transport of finished product loaded on specialised cable laying vessels 
  • A tower for the critical vertical manufacturing processes required to ensure the production of the highest quality advanced subsea cables 

65444b060c21f0e1f4c1a554_Map2Impression of the proposed manufacturing facility (source: SunCable)

The facility will also utilise a state-of-the-art advanced cable manufacturing process and will require numerous current trade and skills as well as new capabilities unique to the advanced high-voltage cable making industry. 

The facility is expected to use about 25-40MW of renewable energy in the manufacture of the subsea cables. 

Not only will this proposed facility support a globally significant renewable energy supply chain ecosystem in Australia and drive demand for critical minerals and processing industries, but it will also help boost economies through jobs creation. 

“The proposed facility has the potential to significantly boost the region’s economic prospects. A project of this size could create over 800 construction jobs, and over 400 long-term advanced manufacturing roles across a diverse range of trades, skills and capabilities. 

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for the northern region and confirms that Tasmania has what the world wants. 

“Our Government’s long-term plan supports major developments and investments in Tasmania as we continue to create jobs, boost the economy and make Tasmania the best place to work, live and raise a family,” Premier of Tasmania Jeremy Rockliff said. 

SunCable will work in partnership with the Tasmanian Government to identify and develop required workforce, training and development programs that will help enable renewable energy transition. 

In addition, SunCable will also work with George Town, West Tamar and Launceston Local Government Areas to progress plans for the project site. 

If the manufacturing facility is given the green light, major construction on the project is expected to commence in 2025, with the first manufactured cable in 2029. 

“SunCable’s manufacturing facility would inject billions into the Tasmanian economy and I’m sure numerous Tasmanian businesses will see the flow on benefits of having such a project in our State. 

“This project would provide exciting careers for Tasmanians generations to come, particularly in the Tamar region. 

“It is a huge vote of confidence in the Tasmanian economy, and our Government welcomes the role the private sector plays in Tasmania,” Deputy Premier and local Member for Bass Michael Ferguson said. 

The proposed subsea cable manufacturing facility will support the development of the AAPowerLink, a multi-billion-dollar project that will deliver one of the world’s largest renewable energy project and battery storage facility in the heart of the Northern Territory. 

AAPowerLink is going to be delivered in multiple stages and once completed, will have the capacity of up to 6GW of renewable energy transmitted to Darwin via an 800-kilometre overhead transmission and to Singapore via 4,300 kilometres’ worth of subsea cables. 

Source: Premier of Tasmania – News; SunCable (1, 2, 3); Renew Economy; PV Magazine Australia 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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