Zinc giant seals 9GW wind and solar pipeline for Australian green hydrogen plans

Article Republished By Javier Troconis

Ark Energy Corp, the offshoot of Korea Zinc, has sealed the purchase of a 9GW pipeline of wind and solar projects as it plots its expansion into green hydrogen production.

Ark Energy has completed the purchase of Epuron Holdings, originally announced just before Christmas last year, that includes a pipeline of 4.2GW of “early stage” utility scale wind and solar projects, and an “investigation” pipeline of another 4.8GW.

The company, linked to big Sun Metals zinc smelter near Townsville that is one of the biggest single energy customers in the country, says the purchase is its most significant to date in its green energy transition.

“The acquisition of Epuron is an important milestone for Ark Energy to become a world class green independent power producer and green hydrogen business,” said Yun B. Choi, the founder and chairman of Ark Energy and vice chairman of Korea Zinc.

Ark Energy has also taken a 50 per cent stake in renewables monitoring and forecasting technology company Fulcrum3D, and has invested heavily in emerging gravity storage technology provider Energy Vault.

It has also committed to building a 1MW electrolyser at its Townsville zinc refinery – to satisfy its trucking needs – and has big plans for green metals.

Ark Energy vice chair Kathy Danaher said the purchase of Epuron will help accelerate its energy transition and deliver low carbon futures for Korea Zinc and other third-party commercial and industrial customers.

The development team will be led by Epuron’s Paul Stangroom, and will look to fast-track the development of the early-stage projects and the growing investigation pipeline.

He 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’s 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.

“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,” Poole said in a statement.

Epuron was established in 2003 and its first development approval was the Cullerin Range wind farm in NSW (pictured above), which was commissioned in 2009. Its most recent development approval was issued for the Boulder Creek wind farm in Central Queensland.

Other projects include the Specimen Hill, Lotus Creek and Chalumbin wind projects in Queensland, and the Bowman’s Creek wind project in NSW (over which AGL has an option)_ and the St Patrick’s Plains project in Tasmania.

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