Japanese companies Sojitz Corporation and ENEOS Corporation have announced that construction is now underway on their 204-megawatt solar farm in Queensland. The solar farm will stretch across 428 hectares in Edenvale, in the Western Downs Regional Council area.
Sojitz is one of Japan’s major trading companies and has a strong investment and long trading history in Queensland’s mining industry. ENEOS is Japan’s largest oil company and has a significant focus on renewables and hydrogen.
In 2018, with the support of the Queensland University of Technology, ENEOS successfully exported green hydrogen from the Redlands Research Facility, east of Brisbane, to Japan. It was the first technical verification of production of green hydrogen using methyl cyclohexane (MCH) in the world at the time.
The Edenvale Solar Park is Sojitz and ENEOS’ first solar project in Australia.
Sojitz and ENEOS acquired a 100 per cent stake in the project company Edenvale Solar Park Pty Ltd. from DPI Solar 3 Pte Ltd. (based in Singapore) via Sapphire Energy Pty Ltd. (based in Australia), a joint venture holding company equally owned by Sojitz and ENEOS.
In terms of the project’s structure, Sojitz and ENEOS executed a 16-year project finance agreement with Natixis (acting as a sole mandated lead arranger and sole underwriter), as well as an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract with Gransolar Construction Australia Pty Ltd., the Australian subsidiary of major Spanish construction company Grupo Gransolar S.L
Premier and Minister for Trade, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the investment is great news for Queensland.
“This is a show of international confidence in the strength of our economic recovery plan and in Queensland’s renewable energy future,” the Premier said.
“This project will create a local jobs bonanza with over 400 jobs required during the construction phase.”
“Queensland has a strong relationship with Japan and this is clearly demonstrated here by this significant investment by Sojitz and ENEOS.”
Of the renewable energy to be produced by the Edenvale Solar Park, 70 per cent will be sold to a local electricity retailer to provide a stable supply of renewable energy, while part of the remaining 30 per cent will be supplied to Gregory Crinum Coal Mine, which Sojitz owns and operates.