Gilbert + Tobin has advised global aluminium and renewable energy giant Norsk Hydro ASA (Hydro) on the sale of its 2,000 hectare former Kurri Kurri Aluminium Smelter site to Flow Systems.
The sale forms an integral part of Hydro’s $150 million ‘Regrowth Kurri Kurri Project’, which is expected to deliver approximately 250ha for employment activities, 250ha for residential development and more than 1,200ha for conservation purposes over the next 10 years. The Project will provide a key driver for positive economic growth and environmental outcomes for this important Hunter Valley growth corridor.
The divestment, and associated Regrowth Kurri Kurri Project, is one of the most consequential and far-reaching deals for the aluminum industry in Australia in recent times. On completion, the Project will be a global exemplar for a fully sustainable, multi-utility residential and commercial services delivery model.
G+T’s Real Estate and Projects Group assisted in the sale process, and continues to work closely with Hydro on all aspects of the Project – including the rezoning, remediation, biodiversity conservation and long-term environmental management approval pathways for the Kurri Kurri site.
Environment, Planning and Climate Change Partner Ben Fuller and Real Estate Partner Amanda Hempel led the G+T team, with lawyers Jo Bayes and Tanja Mikulic supporting.
Commenting on the deal, Fuller said, “This was a complex divestment from an environment and planning perspective. Parts of the site had been used for aluminium smelting since the late 1960s – and all of the key approval pathways for the remediation, rezoning and bio-certification of the site are ongoing.”
“We had to structure the transaction documents to achieve the parties’ commercial objectives, but also their mutual commitment to sustainable economic and environmental values. Our overarching objective was to provide a platform to satisfy the regulators in relation to the long-term environmental management of the site,” he added.
Hempel said, “The transaction documentation was complex in order to address the medium-term staged handover of the site, with regard to rezoning and remediation, and the longer-term handover and management of the environmental aspects of the site.”
Gilbert + Tobin’s Environment, Planning and Climate Change team has a proven track record advising on the development of complex projects in a wide variety of industry sectors across Australia. We specialise in advising on all aspects of environmental impact assessment and approvals strategy, planning and environment law advice and litigation, remediation and development of contaminated land, regulatory investigations and prosecutions, and corporate environmental due diligence. Our clients include corporations, investors, government, investment banks, financial service institutions and Australia’s leading national banks.
Gilbert + Tobin’s Real Estate and Projects group is known for guiding clients through many significant sale, development and infrastructure transactions. The team enjoys long-term relationships with key industry participants and is respected for its responsive and pragmatic advice, focused on solving problems. We act on matters across Australia offering clients the efficiency of a single point of contact for national projects, setting us apart from our competitors. We are supported by specialists in corporate advisory, tax, environment and planning – ensuring smart, integrated advice and transaction management to achieve our clients’ objectives.
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