Saturday, 7 September 2013

Green bank saves 75 jobs
3 Jul 2013

THE federal government's green bank has funded another wind farm, saving 75 jobs at a Victoria turbine maker.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will fund $37.5 million of debt for the Taralga wind farm-45km north of Goulburn in NSW-as part of a $280 million consortium of financiers, a day after it helped refinance the Macarthur wind farm.

Unlike Macarthur, the Taralga is a new project with an installed capacity of 106.8 MWs of wind power and has a 10 year power-purchase agreement with EnergyAustralia. Under a joint venture between CBD Energy and Spanish bank Santander, all wind towers for the project will be engineered and manufactured at Victorian firm Keppel Prince, which last year laid off about 50 workers.

Keppel Prince general manager Steve Garner said he would have needed to lay off a further 75 workers if the firm had not secured the work. He said the CEFC was critical to Keppel securing the work and now the business was looking later this year to recruit more staff. "It has just been so slow and so unsupportive for local manufacturing", Mr Garner said of the past year.

"I would be extremely disappointed if the CEFC was to be abolished. It was the driving force behind us being able to secure this as a local manufacturer". "Without their help and assistance and continued effort of [Danish company] Vestas Wind Systems and CBD Energy, we would not have been in the hunt and the jobs would have gone to China. It has meant Australian jobs and it means taxes being paid in Australia".