Ampcontrol partners with major offshore wind developer to explore manufacturing, job opportunities

Ampcontrol Managing Director and CEO Rod Henderson and Destiny Wind Acting Project Director Erin Coldham.

A MAJOR Australian offshore wind developer has partnered with Tomago’s Ampcontrol to explore opportunities for innovation and the creation of local jobs as the region’s fledgling offshore wind industry takes flight.

Destiny Wind is a proposed offshore wind farm off the Hunter coast, led by the team behind Star of the South, a major offshore wind project in development since 2017 off the Gippsland coast in Victoria.

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The Destiny Wind project is backed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, a major international energy fund manager.

Having submitted a Feasibility License application last year to explore the possibilities of developing a project in the declared Hunter offshore wind zone, Destiny Wind last week announced a partnership with the Hunter-based Ampcontrol.

Employing more than 800 locals, Ampcontrol has more than 50 years of experience in the energy, infrastructure and resources industries.

Destiny Wind Acting Project Director Erin Coldham said the developing offshore wind industry can draw on the Hunter region’s extensive traditional energy generation experience.

“This partnership is an easy decision for us – we need local businesses and suppliers like Ampcontrol to be part of Australia’s offshore wind industry,” she said.

“We’ve identified some key collaboration areas from both a local and national perspective – it’s exciting to see what could be possible.

“Offshore wind would continue the long history of industry excellence in regional areas like the Hunter – local experience and know-how will play a big role in advancing this new Australian industry.”

Ampcontrol Managing Director and CEO Rod Henderson said key industry partnerships play an important role when developing projects of this size.

“Collaboration is essential to bring together the brightest minds so we can think radically to challenge the status quo and disrupt the future of energy,” he said.

Hunter Workers secretary Leigh Shears said the partnership sent a “clear message to Government and stakeholders that emerging industries can and should be built right here in the Hunter region”.

“It is another demonstration of the enthusiasm and industrial capacity of local industry for the future of work in our region and the benefits that Hunter offshore wind can bring to the working communities of the Hunter,” Mr Shears said.

While industry and union bodies are throwing their support behind the development of an offshore wind industry in the Hunter, community resistance remains strong in Port Stephens and on the Myall Coast.

Chief among local offshore wind opponents is Nationals MP and Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie, who says projects in the Hunter zone are “not a guarantee of long-term meaningful manufacturing jobs”.

“The only guarantee is that it will destroy jobs in the commercial fishing industry, blue water and tourism sector.

“I have been clear that I am opposed to the Hunter Offshore wind project and in lock step with local people across the region,” Dr Gillespie said.

“As an industrial project in a pristine piece of coastline, it will have a significant negative economic and environmental impact on our region and local RAMSAR wetlands.

“It will increase grid instability and force electricity prices higher than households or small or large business, particularly manufacturing, can realistically afford, and raises the possibility of brownouts and blackouts.”


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