Greening the zinc economy
“This solar farm is extremely innovative and their desire and their drive to get to a 100 per cent renewable energy is really exciting.”
One of the great things about economies opening up after the COVID-19 pandemic is the ability to visit our customers in person once again.
Meeting with them on site is a great way to understand the issues they face but also to hear their exciting stories of transition and adaptability.
One of the biggest opportunities for ANZ is supporting our customers with the transition to a low carbon economy.
On a recent trip to Townsville I had the opportunity to see a fantastic example of such a transition with our customer Sun Metals, a subsidiary of Korea Zinc.
The South Korean company is the world's largest refiner of zinc and its Australian unit is a very significant part of their global business model.
Sun Metals has constructed a massive solar farm at its Townsville plant comprising about 1.2 million solar panels. The solar farm is already supplying the adjoining zinc refinery with about 22 per cent of its power needs from renewable sources.
The group has also invested in a 923 megawatt wind farm project in Queensland. When completed it will be the biggest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere and will supply Sun Metals with close to 85 per cent of its energy needs, in conjunction with the solar farm.
This solar farm is extremely innovative Sun’s desire and drive to get to 100 per cent renewable energy is really exciting - as is their willingness to invest ahead of the curve.
Accelerating the transition
Sun Metals is also working on a new hydrogen plant which it hopes to have in operation by the end of the year. It eventually plans to export green hydrogen (made from renewable energy) to its parent company in South Korea.
The company is accelerating their participation in the net zero transition. And it's not just about Australia.
What’s happening in Townsville will also help one of our key trading partners, South Korea, to green their economy and reach net zero emissions by 2050.
For ANZ, a key part of our strategy is intermediating the flow of goods and capital around the region and Sun Metals fits into that strategy perfectly.
It's connecting Asia with Australia, resources, renewable energy, technology, trade, goods and the capital flow that goes with that. It’s a perfect example of what ANZ does and does particularly well.
What Sun Metals has built is an amazing piece of infrastructure that creates high-value jobs for the long term. And it's great to see the flow-on effects right across Townsville and right across the region to help drive economic success and prosperity.
Shayne Elliott is Chief Executive Officer of ANZ