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Queensland has fast-tracked a $5 million transmission line upgrade in an effort to maintain reliable electricity supply to the Brisbane River Valley.

Queensland Energy Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, said works were underway to replace more than 2200 insulator strings on 245 transmission towers across more than 100km of transmission line between Mt England near Wivenhoe Dam, and Tarong near Kingaroy.

“This essential insulator replacement work supports 13 jobs and ensures the transmission line will continue to operate safely and reliably for its remaining 45-year technical service life,” Dr Lynham said.

“The line plays a critical role in bringing power generated in Central Queensland down to the south west.

“Powerlink has adapted the project’s roll-out in response to COVID-19, adjusting project schedules to minimise travel for specialised maintenance crews based in the south east corner.”

Dr Lynham said Queensland’s publicly-owned electricity companies – Powerlink, Ergon, Energex, CS Energy, Stanwell Corp and CleanCo – would invest more than $2.2 billion on capital works in 2019-20.

“These essential projects will support up to 4900 jobs,” Dr Lyhnam said.

“Queenslanders enjoy reliable supply, the lowest power prices on the eastern seaboard, and a planned transition to a renewable energy future because we own these electricity companies.”

Powerlink Interim Chief Executive, Kevin Kehl, said Powerlink was committed to continuing its works program during this challenging time, ensuring the transmission network remains safe and secure. 

“We will also be using innovative work practices to replace the ageing insulators on the Mt England to Tarong transmission line while the 275kV line remains fully energised, or ‘live’,” Mr Kehl said.

“Insulators are located near the top of transmission towers, supporting the transmission line wires while separating them electrically from the tower.

“Undertaking this specialised maintenance work while the high voltage equipment remains energised minimises potential impacts on our customers by avoiding the need for planned outages on our network.

“Powerlink will work closely with landholders and other stakeholders to minimise any potential impacts associated with the works, which will be delivered on each transmission tower as safely and quickly as possible.”

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