Wednesday, 29 May 2024
    Wind energy suppliers call for lift from Government

    Wind energy suppliers call for lift from Government

    A wholly Australian wind energy supply chain could boost job availability, propel us towards renewable energy goals, and keep the Aussie dollar within Australia. 

    However, changes must occur at both the top and bottom of the supply chain before we can witness this ideal future materialise. 

    To feed the supply chain, Australia's two wind tower producers have called for supply mandates. Keppel Prince, a purpose-built production facility in the Victorian coastal town of Portland, has been dormant since October 2020 due to losing out to overseas alternatives during procurement rounds for energy developments. 

    General manager Dan McKinna expressed, "My factory is currently idle. All of those wind towers going up around Western Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland are coming in from Vietnam and China." 

    Opportunity lies in a dual-supply approach, onshore and offshore. The Southern Ocean offshore wind zone is where the federal government has proposed to create a 5,100-square-kilometre wind energy area that stretches from Warrnambool in Victoria to Port MacDonnell in South Australia. However, no Australian company currently has the ability to build offshore towers. 

    Mr. McKinna explained that for Australian companies to invest in offshore wind tower production facilities, a guarantee of demand over an extended period of time is required to justify the investment, which could cost upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars. 

    "These projects need to be planned and executed with a long-term vision — not boom and bust," he said. "This is a huge opportunity for the country; the question is what we are going to do to maximise this." 

    For Procurement Australia, our portfolio covers energy for both small and large markets, and our contracts are just as diverse. As one of the largest aggregators in the country, we relish the opportunity to facilitate introductions between our members so that we can work towards an Australian-made sustainable energy supply chain.