The Queensland Government has ticked off a major milestone on a proposed $1 billion overhead high-voltage electricity transmission line to connect North West Queensland to the east coast electricity grid.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said Saturday Queensland's independent Coordinator-General declared CuString Pty Ltd's CopperString Project a coordinated project.
"The proponent will now have to prepare a comprehensive environmental impact statement for the project, which could create up to 400 full-time jobs during its three-and-a-half-year construction phase and up to 30 full-time jobs once fully operational," Mr Dick said.
"The project is a 1,100-kilometre 275 kilovolt overhead high-voltage electricity transmission line connecting the North West Minerals Provence and Mount Isa to the National Electricity Market grid south of Townsville."
If realised it will be a long-cherished dream for the proponents which initially proposed the plan in 2011 only for Mount Isa Mines to plump for the new Diamantina Power Station.
Project proponent John O'Brien said Copperstring 2.0 will provide reliable electricity to communities and mines in the area, as well offering an alternative electricity supply to the North West.
Subject to approvals, CuString proposes to commence the first stage of construction, a 720km overhead high-voltage electricity line from Woodstock, south of Townsville, to Chumvale Sub-station, near Cloncurry, by the end of 2020, with operations commencing by the end of 2022.
Copperstring also proposes to extend the line from the Chumvale Sub-station to Mount Isa and south to the Phosphate Hill Power Station and Cannington Mine by 2024.
Mr Dick said the independent Coordinator-General will now prepare draft terms of reference for the environmental impact statement the proponent must produce and invite the community for public comment.
Copperstring 2.0 has also created a new reference group headed by former state minister Tony McGrady.