GOING AHEAD: Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick, Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and Acciona managing director Brett Wickham during the announcement of the company's plans to build a $500
million solar farm at Aldoga.
GOING AHEAD: Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick, Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and Acciona managing director Brett Wickham during the announcement of the company's plans to build a $500 million solar farm at Aldoga. Mike Richards GLA130418SLAR

Global lawsuits no danger to $500m solar farm deal

LAWSUITS and government stoushes around the world have not cast doubt on a 30-year deal between Spanish rail giant Acciona and the Queensland Government involving a $500million solar project in Gladstone.

It has been revealed Acciona's project delays and lawsuits against governments are not unique to Australia, with the company involved in disputes globally, including in Spain, Mexico, Brazil and Canada.

But the battles have not put into question the future of the solar farm it is preparing to build on Gladstone State Development Area land, Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said.

Mr Butcher and Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick announced in April Acciona had signed a 30-year agreement for lease with the state government to build the 265MW solar farm.

Mr Butcher, who met Acciona's energy branch last week, said the company was "well aware" of the expectations for the solar project.

"They gave me the statistics and background on the company's renewable and solar arm, which is separate to (Acciona Infrastructure) which has faced issues," he said.

"I made it clear their job is to get this built with the condition it will be safe for the people working on the project, and they're very aware of that."

The Daily Telegraph reported the company is budgeting $264million a year for lawsuits.

Among those legal battles is $1.1billion lawsuit against the New South Wales Government over Sydney's light rail project.

It follows years of legal disputes involving projects around the world, including when Acciona and a group of partners faced fines of more than $6.7million for delays in construction of a $200million bridge in Canada, which opened two years behind schedule.

An Acciona representative told The Observer earlier this month its energy business building the Aldoga project was "almost entirely independent" from the infrastructure business.

Businesses keen to tender for the construction of the solar farm can register their interest now by emailing aldoga.au@acciona.com.

The project will create 240 jobs for 12 months during construction, expected to start mid to late 2019.



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