Silicon & Solar Module Fab In Australia

Queensland: RTE Energy Proposes Solar Module & Solquartz To Build Silicon Fab

Silicon & Solar Module Fab In Australia

After clearing Edify Energy’s 1 GW green hydrogen facility, the Townsville City Council has tentatively allocated space to 4 new projects for Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct, including one for solar manufacturing. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: sondem/Shutterstock.com)

  • Townsville City Council has announced plans for the construction of a solar PV manufacturing plant, a silicon smelter and green hydrogen production facility
  • RTE Energy will develop the PV manufacturing facility, powered by a solar park
  • Solquartz will establish a silicon metal fab with 52,000 tons annual capacity and 9,100 ton silica fume to cater to solar PV and battery industries
  • Among other projects cleared is a commercial scale green hydrogen production facility by Origin Energy

The Townsville City Council in Australia’s Queensland has unveiled RTE Energy’s plans of a solar PV manufacturing facility and Solquartz’ proposal of a multi-module silicon smelter catering to solar PV and battery industries to be stationed at Lansdown. There is also a commercial scale green hydrogen production facility planned by Origin Energy Future Fuels Pty Ltd.

A gas let-down station has also been proposed by the North Queensland Gas Pipeline. The council says it has tentatively allocated space to these companies in the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct after they cleared a competitive tender round.

RTE Energy plans to establish a ‘world class’ solar PV production fab, manufacturing 100% recyclable products. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and manufacturing to start in 2023 with full production ramp up envisioned for March 2024.

According to details the company has submitted with the council, RTE Energy wants to power the manufacturing fab with a solar park of unidentified capacity construction on which will begin in 2023.

The company counts the entire project to support 450 full-time equivalent direct and indirect jobs during construction phase, and around 825 jobs once it is operational.

Quartz and silicon mining company from Australia, Solquartz has proposed to establish a silicon production fab with 52,000 ton annual capacity of silicon metal and 9,100 ton of silica fume or powder. Smelter construction will enter phase I in 2023, and progress to phase II in 2025.

Solquartz expects to support around 860 jobs during construction period, and some 240 jobs during operational period. On its website, Solquartz states it will supply green and ethical silicon to the solar PV and battery industries, and that it is developing multiple high purity quartz tenements and associated smelting facilities at the Lansdown precinct.

Origin Energy will conduct a feasibility study to construct a green hydrogen production facility in the precinct for export to Asia and Europe once it is online in 2028.

“The proposed projects would support close to 6,000 direct and indirect full time equivalent jobs and add a massive $1.2 billion to Townsville’s gross regional product,” stated the council that in September 2021 approved Edify Energy’s plans to build and operate up to a 1 GW green hydrogen production plant with a behind-the-meter solar PV and battery storage facility at the said location.

To move forward, the selected projects will submit development applications and on receiving approval can commence construction.

The State Government of Queensland is supporting the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct with a suite of road and rail projects to enhance access to the location, while federal government has committed to improve infrastructure.

In December 2020, Queensland received interest for 60 GW renewable energy capacity for 3 renewable energy zones planned in the state, including one in North Queensland where lies Townsville (see Queensland Gets EOI For 60 GW Renewable Energy).

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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