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27 March 2019

SIMEC Energy Australia (previously SIMEC ZEN Energy) and SIMEC Mining, both members of Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance, have today welcomed the shortlisting of their innovative Middleback Ranges Pumped Hydro Generation Project for the next round of the Government’s Underwriting New Generation Investments Program (UNGI).

The 220 MW Middleback Ranges Pumped Hydro Generation Project is a unique project that has been developed by both SIMEC Energy Australia and SIMEC Mining to optimise the overall economic value of its development and operation to industry, the community and the Upper Spencer Gulf region.

SIMEC Energy Australia and SIMEC Mining identified the Project in their UNGI submission as it provides the potential to underpin electricity supply to its commercial and industrial customers at globally competitive prices. In addition, delivery of this new sustainable energy generation asset will contribute to emissions reductions, sustainability objectives, and increase the overall reliability and security of electricity supply in the region.

SIMEC Energy Australia has a strong Board and management team including Chairman Sanjeev Gupta and internationally renowned economics professor, Ross Garnaut.

Speaking on the shortlisting, Mr Gupta said “The Commonwealth Government’s interest in this generation project is welcome. Funding support from the Commonwealth via the Underwriting New Generation Investments program will underpin, and hasten, the sectoral transformation currently underway. GFG works hard to promote change and sustainability and this project looks to evolve a primary use from mining to creating sustainable clean green power generation.”

SIMEC Energy Australia CEO, Marc Barrington, said “I am very pleased that the Commonwealth Government has positively responded to our Middleback proposal by placing it into the next round. For businesses such as ours, funding support will accelerate investment in new generation capacity, allowing us to ultimately supply customers in the region with cheaper electricity than currently available.”

The project is located on the SIMEC Mining owned and operated 10 Mtpa iron ore mine site in the Middleback Ranges, approximately 60 kilometres from the town of Whyalla. The project will see a successful upcycling of a former mining operation to form an energy storage and generation site.

SIMEC Mining Executive Managing Director, Matt Reed, said “The project will be a first of a kind Australian project, integrating mining with pumped hydro which will benefit from reduced civil costs and use mining overburden to create the dam walls. With the prefeasibility study complete we are looking forward to working with Government to demonstrate the full life-cycle value of the mine, working with SIMEC Energy Australia to deliver low energy costs to industry.”

SIMEC Energy Australia has already been highly successful in delivering new, innovative and globally competitive energy solutions in South Australia, with contracts signed with a number of large energy users in the region and being the sole electricity retailer for the South Australian Government. The company has also recently announced its growing presence in the Victorian electricity market in an assertive move to shake up the market and deliver intelligent solutions for large Victorian energy users.

For further information or media queries, please contact:
Charlene Jaw, Manager Corporate Affairs, GFG Alliance M: 0457 799 973; E: