World’s biggest solar, storage project up for sale


From pv magazine Australia

Sun Cable has officially been put up for sale, following its collapse due to a dispute between two key stakeholders, billionaires Andrew Forrest and Mike Cannon-Brookes, over the company’s $21 billion (AUD 30 billion) Australia-Asia PowerLink project. Administrators FTI Consulting have appointed MA Moelis Australia as adviser on the sale, which could be finalized within the next four months.

The sale or recapitalization of Sun Cable is necessary to ensure the progress of its cornerstone project. If built, the 20 GW proposed solar farm, coupled with as much as 42 GWh of battery storage in Australia's Northern Territory, would send power to Singapore via 4,200 kilometers of subsea cables.

Bloomberg has reported that iron-ore magnate Forrest, whose Squadron Energy unit owns a major stake in Sun Cable, is among the parties considering an offer. There has also been speculation that Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, whose Grok Ventures also owns a major stake in Sun Cable, will submit a bid.

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The two billionaires have failed to agree on the direction of the project, with Sun Cable Chairman Cannon-Brookes supporting its current form. Forrest is reportedly looking to scrap the subsea cable element in favor of domestic energy use and green hydrogen production. In the meantime, Cannon-Brookes via Grok Ventures has provided Sun Cable with a AUD 65 million interest-free loan to maintain its employees and project momentum.

FTI Consulting now describes the first stage of the Australia-Asia PowerLink project as being “materially progressed,” as it has gained federal and local government support in Australia and a number of required approvals. However, Bloomberg has reported that lawyers for FTI Consulting have told Australia’s supreme court that Sun Cable had potential financial concerns.

“The administrators are seeking binding proposals for the sale of Sun Cable by end of April 2023, with targeted completion no later than the end of May 2023,” FTI Consulting said. “Moelis will now commence a process to invite offers for sale or recapitalization of the company.”

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