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A delegation of Council officers will travel to China for five days of intensive talks with big business

A delegation of Council officers will be embarking on a mission to China to pursue more business for the City of Whyalla.

The trip follows a string of deals that will bring a broader range of industries to further diversify the Whyalla economy.

The City of Whyalla has, in the past year, been successful in securing helicopter training company Becker to set up a base at the Whyalla airport. There have been renewable energy projects agreed upon, and some started, with companies such as SSE, ZEN Energy and Adani while a Clean Seas aquaculture operation is also on the drawing board.

To further stake Whyalla’s claim as a city willing and able to do big business, Council also signed an agreement last month to lease 70 hectares of open space land for a solar-powered agricultural farm.

This new agreement has come about after a bold move by Council to make this open space land available to an appropriate industry. The land is bound by Arthur Glennie Drive to the north and west, Lincoln Highway to the east, and the Whyalla Golf Course and quarry to the south.

Council CEO Chris Cowley said these deals, collectively worth more than $400m in investment, had put Whyalla on the map around the country and in big-business destinations like China. Together with the purchase and development of the Whyalla steelworks by British Billionaire Sanjeev Gupta, it has paved the way for Council to explore even more opportunities.

“We have an invitation to go to China to meet with several large companies that are showing an interest in exploring new opportunities in Whyalla,” Mr Cowley said.

“With the contacts we have made through the deals already struck, we now have a golden opportunity to do some direct business with some impressive companies and people.

“It will be five days of coming face-to-face with some significant movers and shakers in world business with the possibility of bringing even more diversified business to Whyalla and, most importantly, create even more jobs for Whyalla.”

Mr Cowley will travel to China for an intensive five days of meetings and appointments with a range of Chinese and international companies. He will be accompanied by Director of City Growth Kristina Roberts and Tourism and Economic Development Manger Elisa Bu who is Chinese-born and speaks fluent Mandarin.

Opportunities include new technologies in recycled water and waste management, water and energy efficiency. Projects ideas include rejuvenated landfills to create commercial and community benefits and using new digital technology to improve community and business needs and services.

“This trip is a small investment in what could turn out to be a massive economic and services boost for our city and our community,” Mr Cowley said.

“This trip is about building relationships, investigation and creating business opportunities.”

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