GFG breaking ground in 2020

FUTURE POWER: An artist's impression of the SIME/ZEN Energy Cultana Solar Farm.
FUTURE POWER: An artist's impression of the SIME/ZEN Energy Cultana Solar Farm.

GFG Alliance are planning to get two major projects off the ground in the first quarter of 2020, paving the way for Sanjeev Gupta's landmark $1 billion renewable energy program in South Australia.

GFG expect to break ground on the massive 280MW Cultana Solar Farm within the first three months of the year. The solar facility is set to become the largest in Australia and will be worth around $500 million.

Not only will the solar farm be hitting a major milestone, GFG also hope to secure the necessary approvals for its $600 million steel rolling mill by the end of March.

Construction of the new state-of-the-art rolling mill will get underway once the approvals are secured.

The rolling mill was announced at GFG's 'big reveal' 12 months ago, coordinated with the support of the Whyalla City Council and buoyed by the attendance of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Steven Marshall.

At the event Mr Gupta announced plans for a 'next gen' mega steel plant named 'Liberty NextGen Steel' which could produce 10 million tonnes of steel a year.

Other third-party projects announced at the big reveal included a $145 million horticultural project in the industrial estate, a $45 million 4-star hotel on the foreshore and a $6 million organic recycling business.

GFG say they will have a strong bias towards employing locals and utilising local companies for their key projects, with Cultana expected to create 350 jobs during construction and a further 10 ongoing positions.

Chinese manufacturer Shanghai Electric will be handling engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for the solar farm and will be working hand in glove with GFG and SIMEC Energy Australia during the process.

Mr Gupta's company is also moving forward with plans for a large lithium ion battery near Port Augusta. Feasibility planning for the battery is ongoing alongside GFG's broader energy plans.