Zen Energy has just approved a $700 million solar battery and pumped-hydro storage project, which may further boost Whyalla’s property market.
The clean energy company is controlled by British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta, CEO of Liberty House and buyer of Whyalla’s Arrium steelworks.
The Arrium steelworks have been renamed Liberty OneSteel, which was the name of the original company spun out from BHP Billiton in 2000.
The Zen energy project will deliver power to Liberty OneSteel by 2019.
Lifelong Whyalla resident and co-owner of Blights Real Estate, Fiona Quinn, told realestate.com.au that the latest announcement is further cause for optimism in Whyalla.
Although property prices have dropped 21% in the last 10 months, 102 properties that have been listed in the Whyalla City Greater Region on realestate.com.au, have been sold.
Quinn said that there is growing market confidence and stability in the town.
“We’ve already noticed stronger interest being received, especially on low-end properties with multiple offers received,” she added.
Liberty House’s purchase of Arrium brought Whyalla back from the brink.
According to a report by Flinders University Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, if Arrium had not been bought, the economy of Whyalla would have shrunk by around $500 million in gross regional product and suffered a loss of employment of around roughly 4000 jobs (40%).