Billionaire-backed Sun Cable enters voluntary administration

Sun Cable chairman Mike Cannon-Brookes says the company has achieved a lot since it was founded.

Sun Cable chairman Mike Cannon-Brookes says the company has achieved a lot since it was founded. Photo: AAP

A company planning the world’s largest battery and submarine cable as part of a plan to export Australian solar power to Singapore has collapsed into administration.

Sun Cable, backed by billionaires Andrew Forrest and Mike Cannon-Brookes, said on Wednesday it made the difficult decision to enter voluntary administration in the hopes of unlocking extra capital to develop the $30 billion Australia-Asia PowerLink project.

“The appointment followed the absence of alignment with the objectives of all shareholders,” the company said in a statement.

“Whilst funding proposals were provided, consensus on the future direction and funding structure of the company could not be achieved.”

Sun Cable founder and chief executive David Griffin said that the AAPowerLink project “remains well placed for completion” as demand for renewable energy rose.

The project involves the development of a 17- to 20-gigawatt solar farm in the Northern Territory, capable of powering roughly 15 million homes, and a 36 to 42GW battery.

The electricity generated would be transmitted 800 kilometres to Darwin and from there to Singapore via a 4200-kilometre undersea cable.

Construction was set to begin next year, with full operation scheduled for 2029.

“Sun Cable has achieved so much since it was founded in 2018,” Mr Cannon-Brookes, Sun Cable’s chairman, said in the statement.

“I’m confident it will play a huge role in delivering green energy for the world, right here from Australia. I fully back this ambition and the team and look forward to supporting the company’s next chapter.”

Christopher Hill, David McGrath and John Park of FTI Consulting have been appointed as voluntary administrators of Sun Cable.

They will work with its management team and stakeholders to determine the next steps for the business.


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