The CopperString 2.0 project has released formal expressions of interest to construct the 1000km high-voltage transmission line to connect North West Queensland with the east coast grid.
CopperString 2.0 founder and executive chair John O'Brien says the initiation of the procurement process is a significant milestone in the $1.5 billion project whose key objective is to create billions of dollars in economic benefits delivering reliable and competitively priced electricity to secure the future of the North West Minerals Province.
"The release of the EOI is a significant milestone and there has been a lot of enthusiasm from major engineering and construction firms to date," Mr O'Brien said.
"The construction of such a large infrastructure project requires a huge amount of coordination and planning and we're pushing very hard to see shovels in the ground in early 2021 at the latest."
CopperString 2.0 will require an estimated 60,000 tonnes of steel for transmission towers and reinforcement in foundations and 125,000 cubic metres of concrete for the tower foundations and substations.
The competitive EOI is the first step in the formal procurement and contracting process for the project, which has been deemed a coordinated project by the Queensland government.
The EOI process will identify suitable contractors to participate in the Request for Proposal process for a proposal for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction of the CopperString 2.0 project.
Mr O'Brien said CopperString 2.0 was committed to maximising the benefits to the regional communities through all stages of the project.
"We're a Townsville business and we see local knowledge and expertise as highly beneficial," he said.
"The contribution made by local service providers in the pre-construction activities has been invaluable, and there will be opportunities for local firms to register their interest in the construction activities."
Mr O'Brien said the project would provide lower power prices and enable the NWMP minerals mining and processing industry to become more globally competitive.
"Lower power prices to major industrial businesses will provide a very big win for the regions' significant base metals mining and minerals projects and the value adding minerals processing operations in Mount Isa and Townsville," he said.
The closing for expressions of interest is March 13 and the shortlist is expected to be announced in late March.
Construction is anticipated to commence late 2020 or early 2021.
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