The Queensland Government is fast-tracking support for the massive CopperString 2.0 high voltage transmission line to provide cheaper power and turbo-charge investment across the North West Minerals Province.
By extending the national electricity grid from Townsville across the north to Mount Isa, CopperString is expected to underpin the creation of thousands of minerals mining and industrial manufacturing jobs for generations to come and stimulate large-scale renewable energy investment.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced $14.8 million as part of the COVID19 economic recovery plan to enable the CopperString project to continue its important development activities and prepare for construction in 2021.
“This project will deliver a 1100 kilometre high-voltage transmission line – the nation’s largest geographical expansion of the National Electricity Market (NEM) – and integrate the North West’s isolated power supply with North Queensland and the rest of the State’s electricity network,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
Related article: UQ’s Tesla battery brings huge savings
“That means hundreds of jobs in construction and 30 ongoing operational jobs.
“But more importantly it means lowering energy costs for the North West Minerals Province where we have half a trillion dollars in the new economy minerals needed for batteries and renewables.
“The potential wider economic benefits from unlocked private investment are modelled at over 3500 jobs in North Queensland and $79 billion economic uplift over 30 years.
“I just don’t want to see the minerals, cobalt, copper, scandium and vanadium mined in Queensland.
“I want to see batteries manufactured in Queensland because that means more jobs in the regions.
“This is the type of productive infrastructure that will position Queensland for the next half a century.”
The $14.8 million is conditional on project milestones and subject to approvals, the project could begin construction in the first half of 2021.
Member for Townsville, Scott Stewart welcomed the announcement and said that CopperString would not only drive job creation in North Queensland’s resource and manufacturing sectors it would ensure regional Queensland has the right infrastructure to maximise its opportunities from one of the largest and most valuable minerals deposits in the world.
Related article: Risen Energy contributes solar panels for bushfire aid
“In addition to the direct jobs generated on-site, the construction and installation, and production phases will require significant quantities of Queensland sourced goods and services including engineering and management services, machinery and cement during construction and mining, manufacturing and various business services during operation,” Mr Stewart said.
“This great news for the business and service providers in Townsville and other communities along the corridor to Mount Isa.
“The people of Townsville and North Queensland know that we have some of the world’s best mineral resources right here on our doorstep in the North West Minerals Province alongside Australia’s best combination of wind and solar and the entire region is connected to the world by our publicly owned port and rail assets along the Mount Isa Rail line to the Port of Townsville.”
Minister for Communities and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government was proud to support Copperstring 2.0.
“In August last year we committed $1.18 million to help the proponents of Copperstring 2.0 develop their business case,” she said.
“The project was also declared a coordinated project by Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General.
“This new $14.8 million in funding shows our commitment to an important project for Townsville and North Queensland.”
Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the Copperstring project was great news for local job creation and economic development in the region.
“The flow-on effects of this project will see more jobs and opportunities created for the whole region,” he said.
“Not only this it will help produce cheaper power for major resources companies based in the North West Minerals Province.
“These mines provide jobs to many people in Townsville and reliable and affordable power is vital for their future.”
Copperstring 2.0 Director, Mr Joseph O’Brien, said the project team welcomed the Government’s funding and strong commitment to developing the Townsville-to-North West Minerals Province industrial economy and that the CopperString team is getting on with the job of getting this nation building project ready for construction in the first half of 2021.
“The Queensland Government has demonstrated an inspiring vision for North and North West Queensland powered by a strategic transmission investment and the country’s best renewable energy zone, and today is a critical step forward in creating jobs and prosperity for our region and ensuring the world has a secure supply of clean minerals needed for the modern global economy,” Mr O’Brien said.