SolarReserve, a US solar thermal energy storage company, is set to embark upon the Aurora Solar Energy Project, a 150-megawatt solar thermal power station built just outside of Port Augusta, after the company won two power supply contracts opened for tender by the State Government last year.
The company has also opened two South Australian offices, in Port Augusta and Adelaide’s CBD, as they plan to extend their influence and create a further six solar thermal projects in the state over the next 10 years.
“Each project is expected to create up to 4,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs during construction and around 50 jobs during the operations phase. The cumulative effect of these projects is the creation of up to 24,000 jobs during construction and 300 permanent jobs in operations,” a spokesperson for SolarReserve says.
There will not only be opportunities in new technology, but due to the similarity in the way solar thermal plants operate compared to traditional power stations, allowing for those traditional skills to be transferred into the burgeoning industry.
Another recent convert to South Australia, OZ Minerals, who, until recently, were a Melbourne-based company, have made significant investments in South Australia, with two mining projects currently operating.
The company has been operating since 2008 at Prominent Hill, where they expect to continue until 2028; and at Carrapateena, OZ Minerals is currently in the process of building a new mine, a relatively rare occurrence, head of people and performance, Mark Rankmore, says.
“During the construction phase, we expect that there be up to 1000 people working at Carrapateena up until the mine goes into production in the last quarter of 2019. So it’s pretty exciting, given that we’re actively building a mine,” Rankmore says.
“When that mine is operational, it will support between 500 and 600 permanent people, and that will be a mix of contract workforce that does our mining, and also permanent workforce.”
The reason OZ Minerals chose to relocate was twofold; proximity to their South Australian operations was obviously beneficial, but they’ve also found the state to be supportive of their endeavours.
“It’s a great state to do business in mining, to be very honest, a very proactive state, willing to help us,” Rankmore says.
“OZ Minerals is moving pretty fast, so we do have pretty strong relationships with government, communities, with all of our stakeholders, and we feel that South Australia is a mining jurisdiction that is largely unlocked.”
And while many traditional mining skills will be used on their upcoming project, it’s OZ Mineral’s hope that their Carrapateena mine will be a showcase of modern mining ability.
“We’ve got ambitions for it to be a smart mine driven by technology,” Rankmore says.
“The upside to this project is all around how we drive technology in the ore body, so there’ll be a big focus around how we use data, so there will be a lot of opportunities around technology and analytical roles, and the upside for the resource body means that we’ll focus heavily on geologists to help us understand other ore bodies that are out there that surround the Carrapateena resource.”
Both OZ Minerals and SolarReserve will be at JOBEX, South Australia’s largest career expo, to showcase the opportunities their companies present for the state, and meet with their potential future workforce.
“[JOBEX is] the right platform to start to understand what OZ Minerals is starting to do,” Rankmore says.
“We’re a growth company, we’ve spent the last couple of years really earning our right to grow, and we want people to understand what we stand for and what we bring to South Australia.”
To find out more about the opportunities available in South Australia’s regions, head to the JOBEX website, register for your free ticket, and go along to the expo.
Solstice Media has partnered with the South Australian Government to provide information on the job opportunities in emerging industries being exhibited at JOBEX.