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Qld awards A$20m early works contract for CopperString

22nd June 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland government has set aside A$594-million in its Budget to start construction of CopperString 2032, announcing on Thursday that a A$20-million early works package for engineering and geotechnical work has been awarded to CIMIC group companies UGL and CPB Contractors.

The A$5-billion CoopperString is a 1 100 km project expected to unlock Australia’s largest renewable energy zone and more than A$500-billion dollars in new critical minerals in North Queensland.

CopperString will connect vast renewable wind and solar resources with critical minerals mining and processing that can be used to make batteries and renewables in North Queensland. The project is expected to be completed by 2029.

The A$20-million early works package awarded on Thursday will cover detailed engineering design, field surveys, geotechnical surveys and geotechnical works. The design and construct contract is expected to be executed later this year and will include an expanded 500 kV transmission line from Townsville to Hughenden, plus associated works.

Minister for Resources Scott Stewart said that Copperstring would unlock the full power of the north.

“If we don’t manufacture our future, someone else will. About 800 jobs will be supported through project construction, and when completed the new transmission line significantly increases opportunities to connect high-quality renewable resources to our region’s industries.

“With joint venture partners UGL and CPB Contractors now on board, we will be fast-tracking work on the 500 kV transmission line from Townsville to Hughenden as well as associated works to progress the project towards construction commencing in 2024,” said Stewart.

Cimic Group executive chairperson Juan Santamaria said the company was pleased to further strengthen its involvement with CopperString and to support the Queensland government to deliver the important infrastructure that would form the Queensland SuperGrid electricity system, and usher in economic and employment benefits for communities.

“CopperString 2032 will be connected to the Queensland SuperGrid, the nation’s largest energy grid, meaning that wherever energy is generated we can capture it, send it, store it, and use it wherever it is needed,” said Queensland Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni.

“As CopperString 2032 progresses we’re also set to see a number of high-quality renewables resources become available in the Hughenden region – a region that has the potential to become Australia’s largest Renewable Energy Zone.

“The government is also committed to maximising local supply chain opportunities by leveraging our Buy Queensland procurement policy to bring component manufacturing for the Queensland SuperGrid, to regional Queensland.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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