Sep 04, 2019

State stumps up $132m for Kidston transmission line

State stumps up $132m for Kidston transmission line

Powerlink will build a $132 million transmission line to link Genex Power’s $1 billion Kidston renewables hub to the electricity grid.

The State Government says work will start early next year on the electrical infrastructure package, critical to the Kidston Stage 2 development.

It follows the announcement in July that the Kidston Stage 2 Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro) had secured a $610 million loan under the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

“North Queensland has high quality wind and hydro-electric resources and providing transmission connection is the key to sparking investment in these resources,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“This investment unlocks access to more energy generation for North Queensland.

“This infrastructure will support the development of a clean energy hub in the North, providing jobs, investment and energy security.”

The single circuit transmission line will run from Genex’s Kidston site to Mount Fox near Ingham, linking the hinterland to the National Electricity Market.

Genex chief executive officer James Harding said the commitment represented the key external funding requirement to complete project financing and commence construction.

“Further, the transmission line will now unlock additional stages for the Kidston Clean Energy Hub, including up to 270MW of additional solar and up to 150MW of wind,” he said.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said detailed planning was expected to start soon, with work to start on site early next year after the wet season.

“Building this breakthrough 186 kilometre transmission line and associated infrastructure will create 400 jobs over two years,” he said.

“The Genex project itself will have a peak construction workforce of about 500 people per annum for the first two years, 250 in the final year and 30 permanent operational jobs.

“And connecting 250MW of pumped hydro capacity will help make the North Queensland electricity network more reliable.”

The Government has also invested $1.18 million for further feasibility work on the Copperstring proposal.

Today’s announcement flows from the Government’s Powering North Queensland Plan, which commits to investing in strategic transmission infrastructure to encourage renewable energy in North and North West Queensland.

The pumped storage hydro project is the centrepiece of the planned $1 billion Kidston energy hub, located at the former Kidston gold mine site – about 280km north-west of Townsville.

Other elements include the operating 50MW Stage 1 Solar Project (KS1), a multi-staged integrated solar project of up to 270MW (K2-Solar), and the Kidston Stage 3 wind project of up to 150MW.

UGL has been selected as the EPC contractor for K2-Solar and McConnell Dowell/John Holland JV have been selected for K2-Hydro. 

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