Morrison seeks partners for massive Indonesia battery project

Infrastructure developer Morrison, based in New Zealand, has commenced discussions with potential strategic partners for a large-scale battery project in Indonesia. The project’s primary objective is to reduce Singapore’s reliance on natural gas. Morrison has engaged advisors to facilitate these discussions, with plans to finalise partnerships within the next 12 months. Vimal Vallabh, Morrison’s global head of energy, revealed this information during an interview in Sydney.

This initiative is part of the Vanda RE project, a multibillion-dollar endeavour, and involves a collaboration between Morrison’s Gurin Energy and a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Petronas Nasional. Last month, this venture, along with four others, received approval to supply Singapore with 2 gigawatts of renewable energy from Indonesia. Singapore aims to import 4 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2035, equivalent to approximately one-third of its current energy capacity, which is primarily reliant on gas-fired sources. This move aligns with Singapore’s emissions reduction goals.

Vanda RE is still finalising the exact technologies it will use, but requires at least a 2-gigawatt solar plant and a 4.5 gigawatt-hour battery, said Vallabh, who’s also chairman of Gurin. Gurin is only offering part of its own 75% stake in the venture, he said.

That capacity would make the battery larger than any currently operating, although smaller than others at more advanced stages of development, BloombergNEF data show.

“People talk about it being fanciful just because of the size of the project, but my first wind farm project was 30 megawatts in 2003, and that was big,” Vallabh said. “Today we’re doing 500 megawatts or gigawatts – it’s just evolution.”

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