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As the second largest single site consumer of electricity in Queensland, Sun Metals has a strong focus on being both environmentally responsible and the most competitive zinc refinery in the world.  

We are also aiming to become the first refinery in the world to produce green zinc.  By use of the term ‘green zinc’ we mean made entirely from renewable energy.

To realise that mission, Sun Metals has made a commitment to power its entire operations with 100% renewable electricity by 2040, with an interim target of 80% by 2030.  In November 2020, Sun Metals joined the global RE100 initiative, led by the Climate Group in partnership with CDP.


Sun Metals’ journey in renewable energy commenced in 2018 when Sun Metals invested $200 million to build its 143MWAC solar farm, which at the time produced approximately one third of the refinery’s required electricity.  The solar farm services the refinery’s heavy electricity requirements and will provide approximately 25% of its electricity needs following completion of Sun Metals’ expansion project.  The solar farm is the largest integrated industrial used solar plant in Australia. 

The solar farm houses approximately 1.26 million solar PV modules which converts the collected DC power through 52 large scale outdoor inverters to AC power, which is utilised by the refinery and electricity network.  The output of the farm is the equivalent to powering 30,000 homes, which is a major energy contributor to the Townsville region.

Sun Metals have driven the Queensland and Australian energy market to adapt to the ever-changing electricity network requirements through innovative thinking and have been met with pragmatic and encouraging responses.  The relationship between participant and provider is critical to the operation and profitability of a generator and Sun Metals understands the importance of maintaining a positive relationship with our NSP and AEMO to ensure all the necessary needs are met. 

SMC solar farm statistics:

  • Potential peak power output of up to 143MWAC
  • DC Capacity of 151MWDC
  • 1,260,000 individual PV modules
  • 26 Power Conversion Stations housing 52 Large Scale Outdoor Inverters
  • Solar farm covers approx. 120ha of land owned by SMC
  • First large-scale solar farm to be built directly by a major energy user in Australia

Hydrogen and Wind

In June 2020, The Queensland Government announced an offer of funding of $5 million to Sun Metals in support of the Sun Metals Hydrogen Queensland SunHQ Project.  The project will see the construction of a renewable hydrogen facility at the Sun Metals refinery.

The produced hydrogen will be used across multiple applications predominately focussed on diesel fuel displacement, including heavy vehicles, off-grid remote power generation and a gas blending trial with LPG within the zinc refinery process.

Ark Energy Corporation

In early 2021 Ark Energy Corporation was established by Korea Zinc to decarbonise the energy supply of the group starting with its Australian subsidiary, Sun Metals Corporation.

Ark Energy will leverage and expand on the group's existing investments across the hydrogen value chain to become one of the most competitive producers of green hydrogen in the world and an extreme user of hydrogen.

In March 2021, Ark Energy reached an agreement with ACCIONA to jointly develop the MacIntyre Wind Farm in Queensland (923MW), being one of the largest renewable energy projects in Australia.  This wind farm will provide approximately 64% of the energy requirement to Sun Metals’ zinc refinery. 

In December 2021, Ark Energy announced it will acquire a 100% interest in Epuron Holdings Pty Ltd (Epuron), a leading utility-scale wind and solar energy developer in Australia.

This friendly acquisition is a major step forward in Korea Zinc’s commitment, as a member of the RE100 Initiative, to powering its global operations from 100% clean energy by 2050.  

Founded in Sydney in 2003, Epuron is one of Australia’s longest operating and most experienced developers of utility-scale wind and solar energy projects.  The company has been a leader in the growth of Australia’s renewable energy capacity over the past two decades.  Their significant portfolio of development projects accelerates our energy transition and contributes to Ark Energy’s long-term ambition to develop a new green energy export corridor from Australia to South Korea.

The acquisition is expected to be completed within the first half of 2022.


Phone+61 7 4726 6600

Fax+61 7 4726 6300


Address 1 Zinc Road
Stuart Qld 4811