Southern Cross Electrical subsidiary wins $160m contract for Collie battery project

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By Imelda Cotton - 
SCEE Group ASX SXE Collie battery project

Southern Cross Electrical Engineering (ASX: SXE) subsidiary SCEE Electrical has been awarded a $160 million balance of plant works contract by Synergy for the Collie Battery Energy Storage System (CBESS) south-east of Perth.

The contract is believed to be the largest initial award by value in SCEE’s history, surpassing the $100m electrical and communications services contract for Western Sydney International Airport awarded to Southern Cross subsidiary Heyday Group in 2021.

SCEE managing director Graeme Dunn said the latest contract would form a vital part of Western Australia’s decarbonisation infrastructure.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Synergy to safely deliver a quality product,” he said.

“We have so many touchpoints into Australia’s path to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and the scale of this award firmly positions us as a significant part of that energy transition.”

Scope of works

The scope of the works for the 2,000-megawatt-hour plant includes civil and structural completions, firewater reticulation and hydrant systems, a concrete culvert cable containment network and 220 kilometres of reticulation cabling through a pit and pipe network.

SCEE will be responsible for the installation, cabling and commissioning of 640 battery container units and managing a laydown facility for the units at the port of Bunbury as well as power conversion systems comprised of 160 chargers, transformers and ring main units.

The company will also co-ordinate the installation of kiosk substations comprising low-voltage distribution boards, transformers and ring main units, switch rooms, an operations and maintenance building, a site security building and other ancillary equipment.

Renewables replacement

The grid-scale CBESS project will see renewable energy generation and storage replace coal-fired power stations at Collie and Muja.

It is believed to align with the WA government’s decarbonisation strategy set to be delivered by 2030.

The plant will connect to the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) through two 330-kilovolt overhead lines from the site to the Western Power-owned Shotts Terminal located 7.5km east of Collie.

Once operational, it will be able to provide short-duration storage during peak times to ease pressure on the grid and have the ability to charge and discharge 20% of the average demand in the SWIS.

The project contract is scheduled for completion by the end of 2025.