The Queensland Government has announced a $1.3 billion package to prepare the CopperString 2032 project for construction in mid-2024.
The State Government has said that the package is a significant milestone towards unlocking the North West Minerals Province, and the renewable energy potential of North Queensland.
This package will enable publicly-owned energy cooperation Powerlink, alongside construction partners UGL and CPB, to undertake detailed design and engineering and environmental assessments.
The project will be calling for responses to tenders from local North Queensland companies.
It will also secure the easements for the CopperString 2032 project.
It also includes the establishment of 100 permanent project jobs, procurement of transmission equipment, delivery of all site investigations and advancement of site development works, including camps and access works.
This allocation is part of the $5 billion estimated to deliver the project for North Queensland.
It builds on more than 40 works packages that have been released for Expression of Interest. The packages cover a range of activities and services such as engineering, construction, environmental management, logistics, camp construction, haulage and communications.
The CopperString 2032 project will also provide infrastructure to connect the North West to super-fast internet speeds with early works already begun. Communities along the Flinders Highway will get early access to super-fast broadband by 2024.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said that this is a significant step forward to allow Powerlink to get started on this game-changing project.
“CopperString 2032 is the largest ever economic development project in North Queensland, and the largest expansion to the power grid in Australia,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“We are proud to invest in this historic project, which will connect $500 billion in critical minerals with the largest renewable energy zone on the east coast of Australia unlocking the next mining boom and jobs across the North West Minerals Province and North Queensland.
“I am excited about the progress we have made so far in planning and designing this project. This funding allows the project to move into the construction phase.”
Queensland Treasurer, Cameron Dick, said that this is a landmark investment in the future of North and North West Queensland, delivering jobs, growth and innovation for the region.
“We are backing this project because we believe in the vision and the value it will create for North Queenslanders, now and for decades to come,” Mr Dick said.
Powerlink Chief Executive, Paul Simshauser, said that this funding is a vital step to get the necessary planning, design and environmental approvals underway on the project.
“We also want to see the people of North and North West Queensland get involved in this project, as it is a project that will shape their region for generations to come,” Mr Simshauser said.
“We look forward to working closely with our construction partners, local suppliers and communities to make this project a reality and deliver long-term benefits for North Queensland.”