Nextracker to use local steel in 480 MW Queensland project

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With an eye to local job creation, shorter supply chains, and reduced carbon emissions from transportation, Nextracker is continuing to use locally produced steel for some major projects. The latest in the strategy is the 480 MW Aldoga Solar Farm in Queensland, which will use Bluescop steel torque tubes, produced in Brisbane.

Nextracker announced the deal at an event in Brisbane on Thursday, March. 15. The event was attended by local politicians, steel industry representatives, and Nextracker management.

The local supply deal involves Nextracker, Orrcon Steel, Bluescope, and Baojia.  It involves “critical steel components” being produced at the BlueScope steel coil at Orrcon Steel’s Salisbury Tube millin Brisbane. The toirque tubes will then be finished by Baojia – which works with Nextracker on a global basis.

The supply deal will underpin a decision to open a new steel manufacturing line. It will be equiped to produce 50,000 tonnes of torque tubes a year – a PV capacity of 2.5 GW.

“This foundation strengthens Nextracker’s commitment to deliver energy security to Australians with a local supply chain and new manufacturing jobs to make clean energy affordable and accessible. We support Queensland’s Energy and Jobs Plan and applaud their ambitions to create jobs for the clean energy economy,” said Peter Wheale, Nextracker GM for Australia, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand.

Thursday’s opening ceremony was attended by the Queensland Minister for Energy Mike de Brenni; Tania Archibald, Chief Executive BlueScope Australian Steel Products; Tony Schreiber, Chair of the Australian Steel Institute and General Manager of Orrcon Steel and Peter Wheale, General Manager of Nextracker Australia, Southeast Asia, New Zealand.

Rival tracker supplier Array Technologies announced in February that it would establish a manufacturing line in Australia. The decision was made on the back of project supply wins, including the 102 MW Glenrowan Solar Farm.

In announcing the supply deal, Nextracker pointed to Rystad Energy research that showed that the US tracker company had supplied 7.45 GW of projects in Australia – of a total fleet of 13.5 GW, making it the market leader. Other major projects Nextracker has supplied in Australia are the New England Solar Farm (521 MWd), Stubbo Solar Farm (520 MWd) and Western Downs (460 MWd).

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