Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners plans to bring in investors to develop an A$8bn (€4.8bn) polysilicon manufacturing facility in Australia.

The renewable energy investment manager is planning to develop the facility on a parcel of land in the northern Queensland city, Townsville, allocated by the Queensland government.

Polysilicon is a raw material used by the solar photovoltaic and electronics industry and Quinbrook believes the project has the potential to rank among the greenest polysilicon plants in the world, because of its access to low-cost renewable power at Lansdown.

Quinbrook plans to build a large-scale solar and battery storage project on land adjacent to Lansdown, a green manufacturing and technology hub, to power the polysilicon plant.

Quinbrook is also partnering with Solquartz, a Queensland company that has been conditionally allocated 64ha of land at Lansdown to develop a metallurgical silicon metal processing plant. 

The partnership is intended to enable Solquartz to accelerate and integrate its project into Quinbrook’s larger polysilicon manufacturing facility. 

Quinbrook’s senior director Brian Restall said the company had targeted Lansdown because of its competitive advantages as a site for large-scale manufacturing powered by renewables, logistics, site infrastructure and port access for export.

“Lansdown is close to the source of some of the best silica quartz resources in the world and it has the land and site infrastructure we need to build a truly state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that will be powered by renewable energy,” Restall said.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said “Quinbrook had developed and is actively constructing several of the largest solar and battery storage projects ever undertaken in the US and the UK, representing billions of new infrastructure investment.”

Hill said Quinbrook would act as developer, sponsor and project funder. “Once the right operating partner is chosen by the company, the project can move forward at a rapid pace, subject to the normal government approvals,” she said.

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