What The CopperString Announcement Means For North Queensland

The Austrans Group participated in the Mining and Resources Industry Forum Presented by Townsville Enterprise on June 6, 2023, where the CopperString Announcement took place. It was an important event to attend, and The Austrans Group were happy to be a part of it.

The mining industry’s future looks promising following the recent Powerlink-led CopperString 2032 project, formerly known as CopperString 2.0. This ambitious project involves the construction of a high-voltage overhead electricity transmission line that will connect the North West Power System to the state’s electricity grid.

According to Energy Minister Mick de Brenni, the implementation of this transmission line will unlock a staggering 6,000 megawatts of potential renewable energy in the North Queensland Renewable Energy Zone. This development will lead to the creation of numerous jobs in a newly decarbonised resources sector, spanning from Townsville to Mt Isa. The early works packages for this project are set to be rolled out almost immediately.

What Does the Announcement Mean for North Queensland?

Thanks to the Queensland Government’s decision to build and own CopperString 2.0, the regions of North and North West Queensland are now at the forefront of the state’s transition towards clean energy. CopperString’s 1000-kilometre-high voltage transmission network will connect Mount Isa and the North West Minerals Province to the national electricity grid near Townsville, representing a historic opportunity for Queenslanders.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk emphasised the significance of CopperString, stating that it is the most substantial economic infrastructure investment North Queensland has witnessed in generations. By unlocking affordable renewable energy and access to critical minerals, this project will benefit not only Townsville and Mount Isa but also every town in between. It is projected to create thousands of jobs and attract billions in investment.

The overall expanded project has a budget of $5 billion and includes:

  • 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission line from Townsville to Hughenden
  • 330kV transmission line from Hughenden to Cloncurry
  • 220kV transmission line from Cloncurry to Mount Isa
  • up to six new substation sites.

Early works on the project are set to start in late 2023 ahead of construction commencing in 2024, and the project is expected to be completed by 2029. Opportunities for participation will be announced ahead of time for local communities to get involved.

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