With the development of the Capacity Investment Scheme, Weld Australia has released a statement urging the federal and state governments to enact local content procurement policies.
Weld Australia says the policies must ensure that 60 per cent of fabricated steel used in renewable energy projects is produced in Australia by local welders.
The federal government’s Capacity Investment Scheme presents a critical opportunity to bolster local economic participation in the renewable energy transition.
When it was first announced in December 2022, the federal government estimated that the scheme would drive approximately $10 billion worth of investment in renewables.
The scheme was expanded in November 2023, to unlock $40 billion in private investment, which would add another 32 GW of capacity to the National Electricity Market.
According to Weld Australia CEO Geoff Crittenden, while the expansion of the Capacity Investment Scheme and billions in private investment are welcome, it is essential that local and First Nations content requirements are incorporated into the scheme’s tenders.
Crittenden also stresses that the federal government must commit to building sovereign manufacturing capability for renewable energy projects by legislating local content policy.
“Local content legislation must specify that 60 per cent of all fabricated steel used in our renewable energy projects is manufactured in Australia by local welders.
“This local content legislation must be drafted in conjunction with industry to eliminate the loopholes that so often arise in these types of policies [and] the federal government must also mandate that all wind towers are constructed, erected and inspected according to Australian Standards,” said Crittenden.
This will fortify domestic clean energy supply chains, boost investor confidence, and cultivate a skilled workforce for the energy transition, positioning Australia as a global renewable energy leader, and creating a capacity mechanism that generates a clear, long-term signal for investment by private equity and local manufacturers.
Weld Australia insists that welding and manufacturing companies will then be assured of the security of sufficient orders to enable them to invest in the necessary workforce, plant and equipment to deliver high-quality, cost-effective renewable energy assets.
With long-term demand a reality, local manufacturers — like Oxycut, Keppel Prince Engineering and Crisp Bros. & Hayward — will have the confidence to improve production efficiencies and global competitiveness.