Chinese company Sino Australia Clean Energy has put in an unsolicited bid to acquire South Australia’s regional Renmark airport.
The proposal would see the foreign owner boost direct exports to Asia, taking advantage of the local citrus, stonefruit and nut production in the Riverland region, with local growers reported to be involved in the initial negotiations.
Sino Australia has proposed extending the airport’s runway to develop an export hub for “high-value, low volume” produce for overseas markets; established a flying school with student accommodation; and building a high-end tourist eco-resort.
The bid was submitted to the Renmark Paringa Council on 11 July, with the council granting 12 months to Sino Australia to offer a more detailed proposal on how the acquisition will benefit the local community.
The acquisition would see Sino Australia become the first foreign owned and operator of an Australian airport.