NAIF approves £339m financing for Genex’s 250MW K2-Hydro in Australia

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has approved up to A$610m (£339m) in debt financing for the Genex’s 250MW Kidston Stage 2 Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro).

The K2-Hydro project will be built in the Etheridge Shire Council Local Government Area near the township of Kidston in north-west Queensland.

The project will utilize two existing mining pits in Kidston located approximately 270km north-west of Townsville.

Genex CEO James Harding said: “We have been gaining momentum with this project over the last few months and are confident that, given the status of discussions with the various relevant stakeholders in the project, Genex will be in a position to reach financial close before 30 September this year.”

The project forms part of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, which also includes 320MW of solar projects and a 150MW wind farm.

NAIF’s investment decision, however, is subject to the responsible Federal Minister’s legislative consideration, as well as conditions including the finalisation of the Queensland government’s consideration of the project.

K2-Hydro project is planned to be commissioned in 2022

NAIF CEO Laurie Walker said: “The Kidston Project investment represents just over 12% of NAIF’s total $5 billion facility. Energy storage facilities have a significant role to play in Australia’s transition to a low emissions, low cost energy future.

“The conditional support NAIF provided to the Project last year acted as a catalyst bringing confidence to Genex’s investment which unlocked other support for the project, helping move the project forward.

“Over 500 jobs will be created during the construction of this project and associated infrastructure.”

Scheduled to be commissioned in 2022, the K2-Hydro project is estimated to have an operational life of 80 years. It is expected to create hundreds of jobs during the construction phase.

In April 2019, Genex announced securing all required environmental approvals for the project.

The company expects to reach financial close for the K2-Hydro in the third quarter of this year.