Korea Zinc’s Australian subsidiary Ark Energy has completed its purchase of Sydney-based renewable energy developer Epuron Holdings in a deal that gives it access to a potential 9GW pipeline of utility scale wind and solar PV projects.
Ark Energy said the acquisition includes ~4.2GW of early-stage utility-scale wind and solar development projects located across the National Electricity Market (NEM) jurisdictions with a focus on Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania. It will also acquire ~4.8GW of projects in the investigation stage and a 50% stake in renewables monitoring and forecasting technology company Fulcrum3D.
The deal also includes the acquisition of Epuron’s ~7MW portfolio of fully contracted off-grid solar assets in the Northern Territory.
Ark Energy founder and chairman and Korea Zinc vice chairman Yun Choi said the purchase, which was first announced in December, will support its ambition to become a major domestic supplier and exporter of green hydrogen and fast track the parent company’s vision to become one of the world’s largest producers of green zinc.
“The acquisition of Epuron is an important milestone for Ark Energy to become a world-class green independent power producer and green hydrogen business,” he said.
Korea Zinc subsidiary Sun Metals has already announced plans to build a green hydrogen production facility at its zinc refinery in Townsville. The facility will be collocated with the zinc refiner’s operating 125MW solar farm.
Ark Energy vice chairwoman Kathy Danaher said the acquisition of Epuron’s holdings will accelerate the company’s energy transition and deliver low-carbon futures for Korea Zinc and other third-party commercial and industrial customers.
Ark Energy’s development team will continue to operate under the Epuron brand for the time being. It will be led by head of development Paul Stangroom who will work alongside Ark Energy’s head of commercial, strategy and operations Dan Hamel as the group’s business model expands from a project developer to one that also builds, owns and operates renewable energy projects long-term.
Epuron co-founders Martin Poole and Andrew Durran will serve on an advisory panel to Ark Energy for an initial period of six months post completion. Poole said the sale gives Epuron the ideal opportunity to build on its legacy.
“Ark Energy is a great new home for the Epuron team. We’re moving forward in good hands and with an opportunity to play a bigger role in Australia’s energy transition,” he said.
The acquisition follows Korea Zinc’s recent decision to invest $50 million in Energy Vault, a Switzerland-based gravity storage specialist, in order to use its tech to decarbonise its refining and smelting operations in Australia.
The new strategic partnership supports Korea Zinc’s strategy to decarbonise its refining and smelting operations at its Sun Metals zinc refinery near Townsville in north Queensland. The companies expect to begin project deployment of Energy Vault’s proprietary energy storage and energy management software technology later this year. The size and cost of the project have not been disclosed.
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