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Development of former Kurri smelter site

July 26, 2021

An announcement in mid-­May by the Federal Government that it will spend up to $600 million to build a new gas-fired power sta­tion at Kurri Kurri was the trigger for the owners of the former Hydro Aluminium smelter site at Kurri Kurri to move ahead with their plans to develop the 2,000 ha site.

Acquired by property developers Stevens Group and McCloy Group in 2020 it is proposed to create a masterplanned, mixed use urban development with over 2,000 new residential homesites and a major industrial and business land subdi­vision. In addition, 1,000 hectares has been set aside for environ­mental and buffer zones. All the biodiversity required exists as part of this land.

The joint venture partners are planning to transform the smelter site into a model suburb, to be named Loxford Waters, with indus­trial and business areas and seven residential areas with associated shopping centre with access off Cessnock Road adja­cent to the Hunter Expressway.

The smelter ceased operations and per­manently shut down in 2014 with a loss of 600 jobs. Since then remediation work has been underway and is almost complete. The high-voltage power infrastructure installed for the smelter made the industrial land ideal to include power generation, including solar farm and battery storage as well as a gas peaking plant. A gas peaking plant in the Hunter region will guarantee its future as a one of Australia's major manufacturing regions. "We also have data centres and waste to energy groups finalis­ing due diligence to be part of the site;' said John Stevens Managing Director of Stevens Group. Mr Stevens founded the Stevens Group, a Central Coast based property developer, who is considered to be one of the most respected in the state and similarly the Newcastle based McCloy Group are regard­ed in the same light.

Stevens Group developed The Vintage in the Hunter Valley and among their more recent developments is The Foreshore Apartments at Toronto.

Mr Stevens said that the site is one of the most strategic sites in the Lower Hunter. "It's not just a large block of land. It has got the freeway running right beside it and it fits into the NSW Government, Cessnock and Maitland Councils' growth plans. "It is the most exciting project Jeff and I have ever been involved in."

Original article published by Edgar Adams on Central Coast Business Review, July 2021. View article online here.


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