The Queensland Government has announced a $1.3 billion package to progress work on the CopperString 2032 project.
The funding will see construction commence mid-2024, a significant milestone towards unlocking the north-west minerals province, and the renewable energy potential of north Queensland.
“This is a significant step forward to allow Powerlink to get started on this game-changing project,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“CopperString 2032 is the largest ever economic development project in North Queensland, and the largest expansion to the power grid in Australia.”
The package will enable publicly-owned energy cooperation Powerlink, alongside construction partners UGL and CPB, to undertake detailed design and engineering and environmental assessments.
The project will be calling for response to tenders from local north Queensland companies, and will also aim to secure easements for the project.
It also includes the establishment of 100 permanent project jobs, procurement of transmission equipment, delivery of all site investigations and advancement of site development works, including camps and access works.
“We are proud to invest in this historic project, which will connect $500 billion in critical minerals with the largest renewable energy zone on the east coast of Australia unlocking the next mining boom and jobs across the north-west minerals province and north Queensland,” Palaszczuk said.
“I am excited about the progress we have made so far in planning and designing this project. This funding allows the project to move into the construction phase.”
Powerlink chief executive officer Paul Simshauser said the funding is a vital step in getting the project underway.
“We look forward to working closely with our construction partners, local suppliers and communities to make this project a reality and deliver long-term benefits for north Queensland,” he said.
The allocation from the Queensland Government will make up part of the $5 billion expected to bring the project to completion.