Sterling and Wilson Solar, an India-based renewables contracting giant has made its second big move in the Australian Solar market, after winning the contracts for construction through to operation and maintenance of what is believed to be Neoen Western Downs project. Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited (SWSL) announced recently that it had signed an Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract worth around US$344.2 million, as well a 20-year, roughly US$56 million Operation and Maintenance (O&M) contract for a new solar project in Australia.
The press release did not name the project behind the contracts, but sources in the industry suggest a contract of that scale could be none other than Neoen Western Downs project, Australia’s nation-leading 400MW solar project located in Queensland’s Western Downs, which is set for to begin construction in July after inking an off-take deal with CleanCo., the state’s renewable gen-tailer. The deal – announced by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the May 06 Stimulus Summit co-hosted by the Smart Energy Council and RenewEconomy – will have CleanCo buy 320MW of the output of the Western Downs Green Power Hub, which could possibly also include a 150MW battery down the track.
For the Mumbai-based SWSL, the contracts announced this week marks its largest job yet in Australia, and will take the company’s Australian order book to around US$656 billion. Reward no doubt, for what it described in an earlier results briefing as “initial hiccups” in its opening market forays.
Sterling and Wilson Solar’s first job in the country began at the end of 2019, when they constructed a 200MW Wellington solar farm in New South Wales, on behalf of Lightsource BP. With the new contract, SWSL stated this week it had “clearly established its presence in Australia,” and placed itself among the largest solar EPCs in what was a “very promising” market. “This is our largest order in Australia and is a culmination of efforts to break new ground in countries like Australia, the United States and South America, where our company has invested in a very strong team that is completely aligned with the local requirements,” said SWSL CEO Bikesh Ogra. SWSL also mentioned in the statement that it believed the worst of the Covid-19 impacts on the industry “seemed to have passed.” The company lastly stated that it expected a fair portion of its international revenues for the current financial year to come from Australia, South America and the US, where solar project construction had commenced to full capacity.