Outdated copper network build still means local jobs
A job generating project that could mean cheaper power and unlock more mining in North Queensland is closer to being ticked off
The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility revealed the CopperString 2.0 transmission project has moved to a due diligence phase of assessment.
The project involved the development of a large-scale transmission network to integrate the North West Minerals Province into the National Electricity Market. It would provide common-user electricity transmission infrastructure for a key part of North Queensland.
It has been designed to link Townsville with Cloncurry and Mt Isa, creating more diverse electricity generation, including a large and growing volume of renewable generation on the east-coast.
NAIF is a $5 billion facility set up by the Federal Government to provide loans, which may be on concessional terms, to support and encourage infrastructure development in Northern Australia.
CopperString 2.0 founder John O'Brien welcomed the step toward securing investment from NAIF.
"The potential for a NAIF loan will assist in the delivery of this critical common-user energy infrastructure in an efficient manner so that step-change growth in our minerals sector can be achieved," he said.
"We know that efficient infrastructure investment drives our resources sector and is important to unlocking our clean energy resources.
"It has always been a critical element of job creation in Queensland and will continue to be.
"All the modelling from expert advisers demonstrates that long-term wholesale electricity prices in Queensland will fall because the CopperString 2.0 investment would allow us to use energy resources more efficiently, and the wholesale cost decreases in the North West will be even more dramatic."