Queensland renewables credentials attract clean energy manufacturing and jobs

Queensland renewables credentials attract clean energy manufacturing and jobs Main Image

15 March 2024


Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water
The Honourable Glenn Butcher

  • Global leading steel manufacturer invests in Queensland, boosting local manufacturing, jobs
  • Significant investment will grow capacity of Queensland’s renewables sector
  • Local production will help Queensland achieve its target to power the State with 80% renewables by 2035.    

Queensland continues to gain traction as a clean economy powerhouse, with one of the world’s leading steel manufacturers today announcing a major investment to back Queensland’s renewable energy supply chain.

Ushering in a new era of manufacturing jobs in Queensland, key manufacturing and solar industry experts have today opened a manufacturing facility in Brisbane’s north, with a key emphasis on supplying locally made components for the nation’s pipeline of large-scale solar projects.

The facility, located in Brisbane’s north, enhances Queensland’s capability to manufacture and deliver Australian made critical components for solar farms, with Orrcon Steel manufacturing specific components of solar technology at the site.

Orrcon Steel, a subsidiary of BlueScope Steel, will construct the torque tubes at the Northgate based factory, using only Australian made components, including steel coils manufactured at BlueScope Steel’s Salisbury based factory.

The partnership relies on global expertise in solar tracking technologies from leading solar tracker technology company, Nextracker, and Baojia, Nextracker’s global manufacturing partner.

Many of Queensland’s largest solar farms are already equipped with Nextracker’s technology, including the Western Downs Green Power Hub solar farm which supplies publicly-owned CleanCo through a power purchase agreement.

This investment will initially support 16 jobs, with plans to add another 14 workers in the next 12-24 months.

Local production will help Queensland achieve its target to power the State with 80% renewables by 2035.

The new production facility comes just one month after the Queensland Government introduced the Clean Economy Jobs Bill to parliament which aims to drive clean economy investment and jobs and enshrine a new emissions reduction target of 75% below 2005 levels by 2035.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs, Mick de Brenni:

“Today’s announcement is not only critical in delivering emissions reduction, but importantly, it brings manufacturing, and manufacturing jobs back to Queensland.

“This investment is proof that our renewable energy and emissions reduction policies are attracting some of the world’s largest manufacturers to the Sunshine State, securing good jobs for locals.

“Orrcon’s decision to invest in Queensland sends the message to other global companies – Queensland is ready, and open for business. We’re making the materials needed to transition not only Queensland, but the rest of the world to a renewable energy future.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Manufacturing, Glenn Butcher: 

“Like I’ve always said, Queensland manufacturers are some of the most advanced in the nation and we want to see these businesses playing a greater role in the renewables sector.

“This announcement combines two of my favourite things – energy and jobs. It is fantastic that Orrcon Steel has opened a facility in Queensland and will support the state’s booming renewables sector using only Queensland and Australian made components.

“Queensland manufacturers are showcasing to the world their capability to support the transition to clean energy.”

Quotes attributable to Tony Schreiber, General Manager of Orrcon Steel:

“Our investment also includes a large tubular mill at Unanderra NSW, tooling to produce solar torque tubes and increased warehouse capacity, positioning our business as a key supplier of products for the rapidly expanding renewable energy sector.

"The collaboration with Nextracker and Baojia is another example of how we’re making a difference in the utility scale solar industry with an Australian made, high quality product.”

Quotes attributable to  Peter Wheale, General Manager of Nextracker Australia, Southeast Asia, New Zealand:

“Nextracker is committed to delivering energy security to Australians with a local supply chain and new manufacturing jobs to make clean energy affordable and accessible.

“We’ve reduced our carbon footprint by manufacturing solar torque tubes in Australia.

“This will give us the added advantage of accelerating the delivery of our utility-scale solar projects in Australia and support the construction of large solar farms with Nextracker’s quality, high performing solar tracker systems.”


Wholly owned by BlueScope, Orrcon Steel is a leading Australian manufacturer of tube and pipe, and distributor of steel products.

Orrcon Steel has partnered with Nextracker’s global contract manufacturing partner, Baojia to set up a dedicated torque tube finishing line in Orrcon Steel’s Northgate facility.

According to Rystad, Nextracker is the market leader for solar tracker systems with more than 50 percent market share in Australia with 7.45 GWdc installed or under fulfillment  in 13.5 GWdc of utility-scale photovoltaic assets.

Baojia is a leading OEM manufacturer specialising in the design, fabrication, and supply of high-quality steel structures for solar trackers.

The Clean Economy Jobs Bill was introduced to Parliament on 14 February 2023 and includes critical measures to secure Queensland’s economic future.

The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan outlines how Queensland’s energy system will transform to deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy to provide power for generations