CopperString 2.0 proponents are releasing a formal Request For Proposal (RFP) for construction of the $1.5 billion power scheme.
Townsville businessman John O’Brien, founder and executive chairman of the project, said backers had decided to proceed with the next stage of procurement by issuing the RFP to qualified contractors.
“Today is another key milestone for CopperString 2.0 with the release of the formal procurement RFP that takes us closer to starting construction on the iconic ‘missing link’ of the Queensland transmission grid linking Townsville to the NWMP (North West Minerals Province),” he said.
“…Importantly we create 750 jobs for the three-year construction program and around 2500 additional minerals-sector jobs for the next 30 years.”
CopperString 2.0 involves the construction of about 1100km of high-voltage overhead electricity transmission line between Mount Isa and Woodstock, south of Townsville, where it would connect to the National Electricity Market (NEM) grid.
The RFP follows a resource economics study demonstrating the untapped potential and long-term sustainability of the NWMP, with known in-ground resources valued at $749 billion.
CopperString 2.0 proponent CuString says access to the NEM will dramatically reduce wholesale electricity prices and make energy purchasing more flexible for mining businesses.
This is expected to result in significant new mining investment and extensions to existing operations.
CuString is seeking submissions from shortlisted contractors who demonstrate an ability to effectively and collaboratively participate in an Early-Contractor Involvement (ECI) process and to manage EPC projects of the scale and nature of CopperString 2.0.
“Constructing a $1.5 billion transmission network will certainly create important short-term stimulus in Townsville and the west, and I’m committed to ensure this benefit flows through to our local community, ” Mr O’Brien said.
“However it’s the decades of investment and employment in our minerals sector that CopperString facilitates that is the truly remarkable.”
The project comprises:
• 803km of 330 kV transmission line;
• 320km of 220 kV transmission line;
• 1100 km of dual Optical fibre Ground Wire (OPGW) and associated communications facilities; and
• integration with the Ergon Energy power system at two brown-field substations in the NWMP.