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Premier Palaszczuk approves funding for $1.5B North Qld project

North West Minerals Province
North West Minerals Province

Authorities will financially support a $1.5 billion energy development in North Queensland.

The State Government has decided to underwrite CuString’s CopperString 2.0 High Voltage Transmission Line between Townsville and Mount Isa. The new implementation agreement will empower the government to guarantee payment, if loss or damage prevents the proponent from meeting its financial obligations at the project.

‘Once in a generation’

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk believes the extra support will help the project accelerate the creation of 750 construction jobs plus a further 30 operational positions.

“This is visionary, this is nation building, this comes along once in a generation and my government is absolutely pleased to be working with CopperString to build what is needed to connect Mount Isa to Townsville,” she said according to the Australian Associated Press.

This project involves building:

  • a 275 kV AC double circuit transmission line, spanning 1100km between Woodstock and Chumvale
  • support towers made from either galvanised steel self-standing lattice or guyed galvanised steel lattice
  • new substations at Chumvale and Woodstock where the line will be connected to the national electricity grid
  • at least four construction zones with a central camp, project office and temporary construction camps
  • access tracks.

Energy cost relief

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) applauded the government’s support and believes this financial commitment will help the Sunshine State recover from the coronavirus recession.

“The North West Minerals Province is a key area of development for Queensland’s resources sector and its development will help deliver the strongest possible recovery from COVID-19,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said in a public statement.

The Federal Government has also committed to allocate funding in the 2020 Budget to help the project reach a final investment decision.

“Energy costs for the existing mineral producers in the region are amongst the highest in Queensland,” Macfarlane said.

“CopperString 2.0 also promises to unlock some of Queensland’s most prospective renewable energy generation sites.”

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The State Government previously granted $14.8 million from the state’s coronavirus economic recovery plan to help the project start construction in the New Year. This is in addition to $1.18M in funding provided back in August 2019 to help the proponent prepare a business case.

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