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Regional Economic Information and Updates

The following regional economic information and updates are provided to inform you of what is happening in the Far North region.  All information is current at time of publishing.  Regional Development Australia Far North accepts no responsibility for any incorrect or misleading information.


Far North Region Economic Development Update - November 2020


Port Augusta City Council Region

  • Pangea Energy - Solar Farm - $380m - Development approval granted August 2018, feasibility study being undertaken - This project will see the world's largest battery storage system built with the project including a 50MW solar photovoltaic electricity general plant combined with an energy storage facility (battery) of up to 300MWwh capacity. These projects combined will see 200-250 construction jobs with up to 20 ongoing positions after construction is complete. Construction due to commence late 2020.
  • Zen Energy / SIMEC - Playford Battery Project - $10m - Project consists of large battery with 50MW of power and 50MWh of energy which is designed to stabilise the grid and to make a contribution to the stabilisation of wholesale electricity prices within the National Electricity Market. Project is located on Port Patterson Road, 1km from the existing sub-station with construction commenced and due to be completed late 2020.  Project life of 30 years expected with up to 5 people required ongoing to maintain the site and equipment.
  • CU River - Port Facility and Solar Plant - $250m - feasibility study and approvals underway - Conversion of former Port Augusta Power Stations site into a port facility capable of handling iron ore, grain and other commodities.  Construction is expected to commence within two years.  Expected 150 construction jobs and 100 permanent positions once operating. The Port Augusta port facility will have an initial capacity of up to 15m tonnes per annum, but has a future export potential in excess of 50 million tonnes per annum.  Whilst initial plans see CU River utilising the site, it is expected to be a multi-user and multi-commodity port facility, providing the Spencer Gulf and Far North industries with further export opportunities. CU River also plans to further develop the site for commercial use and are examining the feasibility of constructing a large-scale solar farm.
  • Department for Infrastructure and Transport - Joy Baluch Bridge Duplication - $200m - Duplication of the Joy Baluch AM bridge with design complete and onsite works underway. Major works contract awarded with construction to start late 2020 with completion due in 2022.  Part funded by Australian Government ($160m) and SA government $(40m). Community information sessions commenced. For more information visit: https://dpti.sa.gov.au/infrastructure/road_projects/joybaluchAMbridge
Port Augusta City Council and Mount Remarkable Council Region


  • DP Energy - Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park - $680m - funded and underway.  This is a unique hybrid renewable energy development integrating wind and solar PV technology with a total installed capacity of up to 375MW, including up to 206.5MW of wind generation capacity on land situated on the coastal plain south-east of Port Augusta.  DP Energy recently completed tender call for works for Stage 1.  Mid-April 2017 saw the announcement of Stage 2 for the project which includes a significant additional solar panel component, generating up to 500MW and a battery storage element of around 400MW capacity and 3,000MW of synchronous condenser capacity to be built.   Stage 2 was approved by the South Australian Government in June 2018. Financial closure was achieved early-mid 2020 with site works underway and official opening by Premier Marshall taking place on 9 October 2020. Both stages combined will create over 600 jobs during construction and 15 ongoing maintenance jobs.  Construction due for completion by 2022. For more information: http://www.dpenergy.com./hybrid/port-augusta-renewable-energy-park/ 

Port Augusta City Council and Outback Communities Authority Region

  • Reach Solar Energy - Bungala One and Two -$250m -  Fully operational.  Approval received December 2016 for 2 x 110MW tilting solar facility.  The utility scale power plan is the largest in Australia, and the 13th largest in the world with around 900,000 solar panels.  It is designed to support the grid and will be energy storage ready for retro-fit in the future.  Long term off take has been secured, capital for phase one raised, with no Government funding needed for project viability.  The project will provide material direct and indirect benefits to the community local to Port Augusta with 10 ongoing jobs.  For more information: http://www.reachsolarenergy.com.au/bungala.html 

Outback Communities Authority Region

  • Sealing the Strzelecki Track. RDA Far North and the Outback Communities Authority, in partnership with The Flinders Ranges Council produced the Economic and Community Benefits of Sealing the Strzelecki Track report. The report was launched by the Hon Rob Kerin on 22 January 2018.  Federal Government has committed $100m to sealing priority areas of the Strzelecki Track in their 2020 Budget. The South Australian Government has commenced work on sealing the first 50km from Lyndhurst at a cost of $10m with this work expected to be completed mid to late 2021.  A copy of the Economic and Community Benefits of Sealing the Strzelecki Track report is available for download from http://www.rdafn.com.au/publications
  • Energy Australia - Pumped Hydro - $300m - Project to utilise sea water for a hydro plant through Cultana Defence property.  Energy Australia have received $500,000 in funding from Australian Government through the Renewable Energy Agency to go towards the $8m feasibility study, which involved advancing the project to a final investment decision.   South Australian Government also committed $500,000 as part of its Renewable Technology Fund. Estimated 200 construction jobs and 15 ongoing.  For more information: https://arena.gov.au/projects/energyaustralia-south-australian-pumped-hydro-energy-storage-phes-feasibility-study/
  • Altura Group - Goat Hill Pumped Hydro - $410m.  Project to utilise fresh water for a hydro scheme on Goat Hill, north-west of Port Augusta.  220MW - 270MW facility with capacity for up to 8 hours energy storage. Estimated 200 construction jobs and 15 ongoing with 55% "local" content.  The project has received development approval from the State Government. Detailed plant design and construction contracting work is underway. For more information: http://www.alturagroup.com.au/our-projects-goat-hill/
  • Nexif Energy - Lincoln Gap Wind Farm - $450m. Project to construct a 212MW wind farm on Goat Hill near Lincoln Gap. All necessary Government and local planning and development approvals received.  Construction of up to 59 Senvion wind turbines each with a potential capacity of up to 3.6MW. Estimated 300 construction jobs with 5 ongoing.  The project was officially opened for construction start on 23 January 2018 with commissioning of the project happening in late 2018. The project will connect to a 275kV grid line managed by ElectraNet, running to the south of the project. The first stage of the wind farm is complete with the second stage to be completed by the end of 2020. For more information: http://www.nexifenergy.com/project/lincoln-gap/.
  • Oz Minerals - Carrapateena Mine Project - $910m - Copper and gold mining project the first concentrated being produced in December 2019 following a three-year construction period and is targeting a 12 month ramp up period to achieve a production rate of 4.25 Mtpa, provided the cave propagates as expected.  The mine has an estimated life of 20 years. A feasibility study is underway into the future expansion of the bottom halfof the operation into a block cave. https://www.ozminerals.com/operations/carrapateena-project/.
  • CU River - Cairn Hill - $800m.  Located approximately 50km south-east of Coober Pedy.  CU River lodged the Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation application for Cairn Hill pits 3 & 4 in August 2017 and awaiting State Government approval.  Announced in October 2017 an expansion which the company estimated could create up to 1300 jobs.  CU River has committed to using SA suppliers wherever possible on the project. For more information: http://www.curiver.com.au/operations/
  • Leigh Creek Energy - $2.6b - In Situ Gasification and Hydrogen Plant. Coal gasification plant near Leigh Creek with low cost production of fossil-fueled hydrogen.  Plans also incorporate a 100MW power station fueled by coal-derived syngas.  Leigh Creek Energy looking at a bankable feasibility study to commence early 2021. 
  • 1414 Degrees - Aurora Project - $650m - Solar Thermal Project aimed at old Aurora site. Full details unknown at this stage.