Indonesia approves Australian solar project over $3.38b investment

JAKARTA (AFP) – Indonesia approved a giant solar power link between Australia and Singapore after a US$2.5 billion (S$3.38 billion) investment promise, authorities said on Thursday (Sept 23).

South-east Asia’s largest economy has agreed to allow Sun Cable’s Australia-Asia PowerLink or AAPowerLink route through Indonesian waters and approved the undersea survey permit.

“We expect this project will have a sustainable impact for our economy through various procurement programs that will benefit the industry and the government’s revenue,” coordinating minister of maritime and investment Luhut Binsar Panjaitan told a virtual press conference in Jakarta.

AAPowerlink will generate solar electricity from one of the world’s biggest solar farm projects and transmit it from Darwin to Singapore starting in 2028.

The project is expected to supply up to 15 per cent of Singapore’s electricity needs and reduce the country’s emissions by around six million tonnes annually.

The company will not be supplying renewable energy directly to Indonesia but promised around US$1 billion in direct investments on procurement of equipment and services and an additional US$1.5 billion in operational spending over the life of the project.

“We’re really excited to announce that this project will invest US$2.58 billion into Indonesia,” Sun Cable CEO David Griffin said.

“We want this world-leading project to create a step-change in the Indo-Pacific’s capability to achieve net-zero ambitions and economic growth sustained by renewable energy.”

The over 30-billion Australian dollar project includes the construction of the enormous solar farm in Australia’s Northern Territory, the world’s largest battery, and an approximately 4,200km undersea high-voltage cable system from Darwin to Singapore.

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