The CopperString 2.0 project has secured a major $17 million financing agreement with Korea Zinc Company Limited.
The $1.7 billion project will construct a 1100 kilometre transmission line from Cloncurry to Townsville to connect the North West Minerals Province with the National Electricity Market and the Korea deal which follows $11m federal government funding announced last week and $15m from the state government in May last year.
The new funding will take the project towards financial close and Yun Choi, Vice Chairman of Korea Zinc, said he sees great potential for CopperString to strengthen the industrial and clean energy ecosystem across the Townsville to Mount Isa corridor.
"This regional economic development opportunity is important to Sun Metals and Korea Zinc, and is a strong element of our interest in supporting the CopperString project," Mr Choi said.
"We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Palaszczuk Government and CopperString in relation to minerals processing, renewable energy and hydrogen development."
The Premier also hailed the announcement saying big projects like this would help in Queensland's economic recovery and long term growth opportunities.
"That's why I announced my Government had entered into an implementation agreement with CopperString late last year to provide certainty for the project and the jobs it provides," the Premier said.
"CopperString 2.0 will also open up land for the development of more solar and wind generation and support renewable generation capacity for a hydrogen export industry."
Joseph O'Brien, Managing Director, CuString, congratulated the Queensland Government for the collaborative approach to the tripartite arrangement with CuString and Korea Zinc and for backing innovative infrastructure solutions such as CopperString to help steer Queensland back to prosperity after the COVID slowdown.
"Korea Zinc, through its subsidiary Sun Metals and their Townsville zinc refinery, is a world-leading minerals-processing and clean energy business and their investment in the CopperString 2.0 transmission project illustrates strong strategic alignment between industrial manufacturing and major common use energy infrastructure for North and NW Queensland," Mr O'Brien said.
"This financing agreement enlivens the significant opportunity we have to make the Queensland economy more resilient with CopperString's potential to deliver a 40% reduction in wholesale electricity prices for the North West Minerals Province to drive our global competitiveness in minerals mining and manufacturing and unlock new industries such as hydrogen."
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the project had the potential to be the most transformative project for the North Queensland economy since the construction of the Great Northern Railway reached Mount Isa in 1929.
"It will transmit energy for new industries and that means supporting new mining, minerals processing and industrial jobs to support development in renewables," Mr Miles said.
Economic analysis done in 2020 showed that every $1 invested in the project to connect was forecast to quadruple in value and deliver $4.54 in benefits for Australia.
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