Australia-Asia Power Link

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Australia–Asia Power Link
StateNorthern Territory
Ownership information
OwnerSun Cable
Construction information
Expected2027 (projected)[1]
CommissionedAU$30 billion
Technical information
Power rating17-20 GW

The Australia–Asia Power Link (AAPowerLink) is a proposed electricity infrastructure project that is planned to include the world's largest solar plant, the world's largest battery, and the world's longest submarine power cable. A solar farm in Northern Territory, Australia, will produce up to 20 gigawatts of electricity, most of which will be exported to Singapore, and at a later point Indonesia, by a 4,500 km (2,800 mi) 3 GW HVDC transmission line. A 36-42 GWh battery is planned to store energy to levelize energy availability as sunlight varies throughout the day.[2]

AAPowerLink is being developed by the Singaporean firm Sun Cable, backed by Andrew Forrest and Mike Cannon-Brookes. It was projected to begin construction in mid-2023, with operation starting in early 2026 and completion by late 2027.[1] The project would add AU$8 billion to the economy of the Northern Territory, then exporting AU$2 billion of electricity every year.[3][4]

The project collapsed in January 2023, after Sun Cable was placed into voluntary administration following a disagreement between Forrest and Cannon-Brookes about the need to put more funding into the venture, though the project may continue under new ownership.[5][6]


The solar plant would be in the Northern Territory near Elliott and Tennant Creek in the Barkly Region, using photovoltaic modules designed by Australian company 5B and prefabricated at a proposed factory in Darwin.[2] The solar panels will cover 12,000 ha (30,000 acres) (12 km x 10 km) in an area with some of the best solar resources in the world.[7] An 800 km (500 mi) overhead power line will transmit 6.4 GW[8] to Darwin, where it will transfer to a 4,500 km (2,800 mi) 2.2 GW undersea power line to Singapore.[9] This undersea cable will be the longest undersea cable in the world, exceeding the existing longest undersea power cable by a factor of around five.[10][11]

Batteries at the solar array in Darwin and Singapore will provide load-balancing for continuous daily dispatch.[12]

Singapore produced 95% of its electricity in 2015 from natural gas, but seeks to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.[13] The AAPowerLink could provide about 20% of Singapore's electricity, with no carbon dioxide generation, reducing Singapore's emissions by 6 million tonnes per year.[9]

In September 2021, it was announced that there would be further expansions to the proposed size of the project, from 10 GW to 20 GW capacity, and from 20 GWh to 36-42 GWh of battery storage, with a new estimated construction cost of $30 billion dollars. Forecasts suggest up to $A2 billion in exports, 1500 jobs in construction, 350 operational jobs, and 12,000 indirect jobs will be created across Australia, Singapore and Indonesia.[14]


The project was initially called the Australia–Singapore Power Link, as the power line will initially connect those two countries. It was later renamed to Australia-ASEAN, and again to Australia-Asia, as it may also bring electricity to Indonesia.[15][16]

Sun Cable intends to secure all financing by late 2023, beginning construction the following year. It is expected to cost AU$30 billion (US$22.6 billion).[17][14][2] Initial investments came from billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest.[18][19]

In July 2019, the project received major project status from the Northern Territory government, ensuring local support in development and construction.[12] The Australian government awarded the same status in July 2020, expediting construction by facilitating coordination and permitting.[9] Singapore has not yet permitted the project,[9] but benefits for it include long-term electricity price stability, the potential to become a hub for trading renewable electricity in the Southeast Asian power grid,[20] and meeting its agreements to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement.[21]

Undersea surveying of the Australian section of the (AAPL) cable route was completed in 2020 by Guardian Geomatics.[22][23]

A project development agreement was signed between Northern Territory and Sun Cable in January 2021, providing for commercial partnership.[4]

An Integrated Project Delivery Team (IPDT) composed of multi-disciplinary international partners was announced in October 2021, including Bechtel (Project Delivery), Hatch Ltd (HVDC Tramission), Marsh (Risk Management), PwC Australia (Project Advisory) and SMEC (Solar Generation System).[24]

Construction was projected to require 1,000 jobs, and operation will have 300 jobs in the Northern Territory.[12]

Australia is the world's largest exporter of coal. The AAPowerLink, along with the proposed wind and solar Asian Renewable Energy Hub in the Pilbara, would make it a "green energy exporting superpower."[25]

In March 2022, it was announced that Sun Cable raised A$210m (€139m) Series B capital to fund the continued development of the project. The round was led by Grok Ventures and Squadron Energy.[26]

At the time, it was expected to deliver first supply of electricity to Darwin in 2026, Singapore in 2027 with full capacity by end of 2028.[3]

Administration of Sun Cable[edit]

In January 2023, Sun Cable went into voluntary administration.[27] The Financial Times reported that the administration was caused after lead investors Forrest and Cannon-Brooks "clashed... over the terms of a new funding round", itself necessitated "since the project started missing milestones".[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Power Generation | Singapore | Sun Cable". Sun Cable. 24 November 2020. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Australia Fast Tracks Approval Process for $16 Billion Solar Power Export Project". Reuters. 30 July 2020. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b "PV - Sun Cable announces global expert team to deliver the Australia-Asia PowerLink project". Renewable Energy Magazine, at the heart of clean energy journalism. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Major milestone for world's biggest solar project". pv magazine Australia. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  5. ^ a b Fildes, Nic (11 January 2023). "Australian solar project collapses after clash between its two billionaire backers". Financial Times. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  6. ^ Mercer, Daniel (22 January 2023). "Sun Cable demise shows renewable energy mega projects 'really hard'". ABC News. Retrieved 7 February 2023.
  7. ^ Morton, Adam (14 July 2019). "'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 August 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Environmental Impact Statement Summary" (PDF)
  9. ^ a b c d Collins, Leigh (29 July 2020). "Australia to fast-track world's largest solar-battery project with grid link to Singapore | Recharge". Recharge | Latest renewable energy news. Retrieved 5 August 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Norway and UK complete world's longest undersea power cable". The National. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  11. ^ "Work begins in Lincolnshire on world's longest subsea power cable". The Guardian. 13 July 2020. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  12. ^ a b c "Australia-Singapore Power Link awarded Major Project Status". Utility Magazine. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  13. ^ Tan, Audrey (21 July 2015). "From The Straits Times Archives: Singapore opts for cleaner energy sources". The Straits Times. Retrieved 5 August 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ a b Vorrath, Sophie (23 September 2021). "Sun Cable: World's biggest solar and battery project expands again, gets Indonesia approval". RenewEconomy. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  15. ^ Morrison, Kevin (30 July 2020). "Canberra backs Australia power link to Singapore". Argus Media. Retrieved 5 August 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "World's biggest clean energy project to power Singapore from Australia". 29 September 2021. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Bechtel, Hatch among firms to work on Australia-Asia PowerLink". Reuters. 20 October 2021. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  18. ^ "Australian billionaire to fund Singapore subsea cable project". Power Technology | Energy News and Market Analysis. 25 September 2019. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  19. ^ Keating, Cecilia (20 November 2019). "Billionaires lead funding of 10GW Australia-Singapore power link". PV Tech. Retrieved 5 August 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ Pearlman, Jonathan (21 July 2019). "Aussie solar farm project aims to power up S'pore too". The Straits Times. Retrieved 5 August 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ Mah, Paul (26 November 2019). "Reducing the carbon footprint of Singapore". Data Centre Dynamics. Retrieved 5 August 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ Chin, Neo Chai (29 May 2020). "Cable route surveys to begin for Australia-Singapore solar sharing project". Eco-Business. Retrieved 5 August 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ "Sun Cable Survey - Phase 1 Completed | Guardian Geomatics". Retrieved 21 December 2022.
  24. ^ Vorrath, Sophie (20 October 2021). "Sun Cable names "powerhouse" to deliver world's biggest solar and battery project". RenewEconomy. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  25. ^ Macdonald-Smith, Angela (1 January 2020). "Solar export vision to be put to the test". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 5 August 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ Ltd, Renews (14 March 2022). "Singapore, Oz power link crew raises €139m". reNEWS - Renewable Energy News. Retrieved 24 April 2022.
  27. ^ Williams, Perry (11 January 2023). "Forrest, Cannon-Brookes-backed Sun Cable collapses into administration". The Australian. Retrieved 11 January 2023.

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