NSW steel to be used in energy zones

·1-min read

The use of local steel and other building materials will be prioritised as part of a NSW government plan to create renewable energy zones in regional areas.

The coalition government on Monday released an electricity infrastructure roadmap to emissions and reliance on coal and unlock $32 billion in private investment for renewable energy.

The plan will create renewable energy zones in regional communities and create 2800 jobs.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said this would boost local manufacturing and has announced a new Manufacturing Renewables Taskforce to drive the use of NSW materials to increase local jobs and support local industry.

"We currently import the more than 86,500 tonnes of steel that form the foundations for critical energy infrastructure - including some finished manufactured goods," Mr Barilaro said on Tuesday.

"As we come out of this recession, we need to lead by example by backing our local supply chains, local manufacturers and local jobs."

Energy Minister Matt Kean said the task force would consider everything from material sourcing and supply to contracting arrangements and explore ways to give NSW manufacturers a competitive advantage in emerging 'green' supply industries.

"The task force will look at terms we can put in our electricity infrastructure contracts and tender rules which will drive the use of NSW products, where they are cost-competitive," he said.

Representatives from the steel, aluminium, cement, concrete and manufacturing industries, unions, renewable development stakeholder groups will be included in the taskforce.

A Jobs in Renewable Energy Zones Taskforce would also be established to ensure jobs created in local communities hosting the new infrastructure would go to local people.