The Queensland Government has ticked off a major milestone on a proposed $1 billion overhead high-voltage electricity transmission line which would connect major energy users and North West Queensland’s public to the national electricity grid.
Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General declared CuString Pty Ltd’s CopperString Project a ‘coordinated project’ on 27 April.
The proposed project is a 1,100-kilometre 275-kilovolt overhead high-voltage electricity transmission line connecting the North West Minerals Provence and Mount Isa to the National Electricity Market grid south of Townsville.
The transmission line would run from a new sub-station at Woodstock, south of Townsville, to the Chumvale sub-station, near Cloncurry.
The project aims to provide reliable electricity to communities and mines in the area, as well as offering an alternative electricity supply to the North West.
The line also has the potential to extend west to Mount Isa and south to existing and up-coming mining operations if needed.
Subject to further approvals, CuString is proposing to commence the first stage of construction, a 720-kilometre overhead high-voltage electricity line from Woodstock, south of Townsville, to the Chumvale Sub-station by the end of 2020, with operations targeted to commence by the end of 2022.
The project could create up to 400 full-time jobs during its three-and-a-half-year construction phase and up to 30 full-time jobs once fully operational.
Moving forward, the independent Coordinator-General will now prepare draft terms of reference for the environmental impact statement (EIS), that CuString must produce and invite the community for public comment.
CuString will then have to produce a comprehensive EIS for the project that considers all potential environmental, social, economic and infrastructure impacts.
Member for Townsville, Scott Stewart said the whole North West region would benefit from a project like this.
“The flow-on effects of a project this size would see more jobs and investment opportunity for the entire region, with potential industrial manufacturing in the larger centres, as well as the potential benefits of more economical power supply.”