Local content a factor in Illawarra wind turbine construction

The use of local components and wider economic benefits to the community will be key considerations in Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen’s selection of companies to construct Australia’s new offshore wind farms.

Bowen made the commitment talking at BlueScope Steel’s Port Kembla plant after announcing the declaration of an offshore wind production zone off the Illawarra coast in New South Wales.

The Illawarra zone is the fourth zone declared by the government out of six to be named – already declared are Southern Ocean, Gippsland and Hunter, with Canberra still considering Bass Strait and Bunbury.

Bowen was asked whether he could guarantee Port Kembla steel would be involved in the construction of the wind turbines.

Bowen said: “Well, we’re in discussions, of course.

“As I said, what I can guarantee is that proposals for licence applications which have strong local content plans, whether it be steel, other components, local economic benefit plans, will receive very strong consideration. It’s one of the criteria. One of the key criteria.”

Bowen said he didn’t just look at the cheapest energy,but at community benefits.

“The Illawarra is going to host this, Illawarra is going to benefit from this and I don’t mind making that clear to the proponents who are about to put in their licence applications, if they put in an application which doesn’t have community benefit for the Illawarra, it won’t be receiving much attention from me.

“…A better way of doing it is to say: do your best to the proponents, give me your best possible local content. And that’s one of the criteria I then consider.​”

Bowen said he did not just look for the cheapest bid, but for community benefits.

The Illawarra zone if 20 kilometres from the coast and has the potential to generate an estimated 2.9 GW of electricity, enough to power 1.8 million homes.

Picture: BlueScope/Chris Bowen was speaking at the Pork Kembla steelworks

Share this Story

Stay Informed

Go to Top