Pre-construction development work on the CopperString 2.0 transmission line will quicken up following the Queensland Government's announcement it is providing additional $14.8 million for the project to continue its march towards a final investment decision.
The stimulus funding will help CopperString 2.0, a major common use energy infrastructure proposal which will be critical to growing the minerals economy across North and North-west Queensland.
Copperstring 2.0 Director, Joseph O'Brien said the project would provide the missing link between the national electricity grid and one of the world's top minerals basins - the North West Minerals Province.
"By extending the national electricity grid from Townsville to Mount Isa, the 1100km transmission network known as CopperString will deliver significantly cheaper electricity to wholesale customers in the North West Minerals Province and underpin the creation of thousands of minerals mining and industrial manufacturing jobs for generations to come," Mr O'Brien said.
"The CopperString transmission line will also provide access to the National Electricity Market for large-scale renewable energy resources thereby stimulating new clean energy investment."
Mr O'Brien said they would release an independent study by minerals sector experts in coming weeks which forecasts a massive boost to Queensland's economy with significant increases in real income, employment and exports when the North West Minerals Province accesses flexible and competitive electricity supply via the NEM.
"Supply chain security for traditional minerals including copper, zinc and phosphate as well as new-economy minerals is a critical issue for the global economy in a post-COVID world and this ensures strong demand for the North West Minerals Province commodities and an important and exciting opportunity for the Townsville to Mount Isa industrial economy," Mr O'Brien said.
"The resource economics study reveals that if Copperstring 2.0 is constructed an additional $154 billion of aggregate gross value minerals production is forecast from established and new mines over the next 25 years resulting in more exports through the Port of Townsville."
Subject to finalising development activities including environmental and regulatory approvals, CopperString will create hundreds of jobs over a three-year construction period planned to commence in the first half of 2021 and 30 direct operational jobs.
Mr O'Brien said the project is on track to be "shovel ready" in the first half of 2021 and independent analysis concluded that access to the national electricity grid would lower the cost of electricity in the NWMP by up to 40%, a game changer for industry and job creation in North and North West Queensland.
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