Steel tycoon outlines billion-dollar vision for QLD
BILLIONAIRE Sanjeev Gupta has outlined a multibillion-dollar vision for a bold new era of industry and commerce in Queensland, including launching a new bank to strengthen trade in the Commonwealth.
Dubbed Britain's man of steel, Mr Gupta told The Courier-Mail of his latest plans to develop one of the world's biggest solar energy power plants, a new financial institution and a $500 million steel mill and aluminium refinery.
"I intend to make my mark in Queensland in an exciting and positive way," the Indian-born UK industrialist said.
The GFG Alliance chairman, 46, said he had watched with dismay the fallout from the royal commission into the nation's banking sector.
"Finance is the lifeblood of our economy,'' he said.
"We want to capture the situation of many of those customers who have been left behind by these institutions.''
Mr Gupta's expansion comes with the acquisition, subject to approvals, of Diamond Bank (UK) to join his ownership of Wyelands Bank PLC bought in 2016.
"My ambition is to set up a bank here in Australia, where businesses and farmers can access finance," he said.
"Significant gaps continue to exist in bank and non-bank funding availability for trade, commodity and supply-chain finance globally."
Mr Gupta confirmed he had been eyeing Rio Tinto's Boyne smelter and Gladstone power station.
He also said a study had been launched into building one of the world's biggest solar power plants near Longreach.
He said details were commercial-in-confidence but the steel project was worth "hundreds of millions" and solar plant "several billions".
"These are very large numbers, but I'm committed to investment here, and these are truly exciting times," he said.
"Outback Queensland has some of the best sunshine in the world. Solar is the cheapest way of making energy today.
"And the whole idea is about us as a major consumer of electricity, in a new steel mill and hopefully aluminium, to build access to cheap power through renewable energy.''