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Australia Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance looks to sell-off solar farm and battery project

16:17  06 may  2021
16:17  06 may  2021 Source:   msn.com

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GFG Alliance is looking to sell-off some of it's renewable energy projects in South Australia.

The news comes a day after the company announced it had found a financial lifeline to continue operating the Whyalla steelworks and a coal mine in New South Wales, which together employ almost 2,000 people.

GFG Alliance confirmed it has appointed EY (Ernst & Young) to explore potential sale or partnership options for the Cultana Solar Farm, near Whyalla, and the Playford Battery project, near Port Augusta.

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A company spokesperson said the Cultana Solar Farm, which was meant to include 780,000 solar panels, is "shovel-ready status with relevant approvals and licenses in place".

The Playford Battery project, however, has not progressed as much.

"A site near Port Augusta has been secured for the Playford Utility Battery and planning is well advanced," the spokesperson said.

In a statement, the company said it would still look to shore-up a deal which would supply the renewable energy to the Whyalla Steelworks, to continue with Sanjeev Gupta's vision of creating "green steel".

"The projects have been designed to supply and store renewable energy to power GFG's Whyalla Steelworks, as well as supply renewable energy to the national energy grid," the statement said.

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"The partnership and sale options under consideration will include SIMEC retaining an interest and with GFG retaining priority access to this energy for its Whyalla development plans.

"This is a practical step to explore ways to power our Whyalla operations with low cost renewable energy sooner, which is key to our future ambitions."

Sell-off follows financial lifeline announcement

The potential sales come as GFG Alliance said it had secured a financing deal to pay off debts owed to Greensill Capital, and ultimately Credit Suisse.

It's understood the exposure for Mr Gupta's Australian operations was more than $400 million.

In a recent podcast to his employees, Mr Gupta conceded his company had been too dependent on Greensill Capital for funding.

Attempts by Credit Suisse to wind up the operations of the Whyalla Steelworks and the Tahmoor coal mine have been delayed in a New South Wales Court.

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Citibank launched the legal action, on behalf of Credit Suisse, last month.

Court documents show Citibank wants the businesses to wound up in insolvency "on the basis that the companies are not able to pay all of their debts, as and when they become due and payable".

But the companies plan to oppose the application, claiming they "are solvent entities."

The parties will appear before a judge in July, when a hearing date is expected to be scheduled.


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