Qatar investment group Nebras Power signed a global cooperation deal with Goldwind as it joined the Chinese OEM in an Australian project that will become the Southern Hemisphere’s largest wind farm when completed.

Doha-based Nebras completed a deal to take a 49% stake for an undisclosed sum in the 527MW Stockyard Hill project in Victoria, which started building in mid-2018 and Goldwind has previously scheduled for completion by the end of this year.

Although bigger projects are in the pipeline, Stockyard Hill would become the hemisphere’s largest on completion, surpassing the 420MW Macarthur, also in Victoria.

Goldwind acquired Stockyard Hill in 2017 after winning a hotly-contested auction by project initiator Origin Energy that also resulted in Australia's largest wind PPA, and is building the project with its 3.6MW turbines.

A year later, the Chinese firm opened a sale process for its 1GW renewable project portfolio across Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania, including Stockyard Hill.

A newbie to the Australian power market, Nebras Power has shown interest in the wind farm asset since early last year, initially offering a bid together with Macquarie, local media reported.

The Chinese wind group and Nebras also signed a framework agreement to “explore cooperation” potential in the coming three years, Goldwind disclosed.

Under the agreement, the two will aim to “team up in renewable investment and M&A, as well as equity investment into innovative projects”.

Nebras Power is a global energy asset investor set up in 2014, part of Qatar’s “2030 National Vision” to diversify the Gulf country’s hydrocarbon-dependent economy and to promote sustainable development.

The firm already owns 5.2GW of clean power assets across five countries including the Netherlands, Jordan and Indonesia, according to a statement by Goldwind.

The acquisition is “a landmark deal for Nebras to establish and further expand our presence in Australia and the Asia-Pacific marketplace”, Nebras CEO Khalid Mohammed Jolo said, adding that it underlines Nebras’ strategy of becoming a leading power player globally.