Toowoomba’s Geothermal Industries has secured a $500,000 tender for temperature control work on the extension of Parliament House in Melbourne.
Managing director Nigel de Veth said the tender was a success story for the renewable energy industry and the Toowoomba region’s workforce.
“We will drill 55 by 100m geothermal bore holes which will provide the heating and cooling for the extension of Melbourne’s Parliament House. They are doing a major addition to the existing building and underneath that building we’ll drill in the sub-basement floor,” Mr de Veth said.
“That’s where the heating and cooling of the building will happen, the energy cost savings will be around 70 per cent compared to conventional heating and cooling systems.”
Two trucks with purpose-built geothermal drilling equipment will leave Toowoomba bound for Melbourne in the coming week and it is expected drilling will start on November 28.
Geothermal Industries is expected to finish their part of the build by Christmas with other companies then installing the heat exchanger units, piping between bore holes and ducting.
“This is a landmark, government project in a state that really wants to progress their energy efficiencies We’d love to see Queensland and Toowoomba join that vision,” Mr de Veth said.
“We’ve picked up other jobs from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide all looking to use geothermal ground source heating and cooling as a way to capitalise on ever increasing energy costs.”
About 60 people work for Geothermal Industries and associated companies Deveth Drilling and Roc-Drill.
“This tender proves the capacity we have here in the Toowoomba region and we would love to boost our region with geothermal solutions,” Mr de Veth said.
“The first project we did was here in Toowoomba at our own facility this year.”
Mr de Veth said his main work consisted of drilling blast holes in mines. Instability in this sector has changed his focus to geothermal.
“We see geothermal becoming a big part of our future, more so than mining,” he said.
Mr de Veth said he would like to hire men and women out of the mining industry to work for his companies if tenders picked up in the Toowoomba region, or continued in other states.
“We’re going to be pushing hard that those people from mines looking for work to join our company and use their skills.”