Powerlink has completed a $42 million project to refit the Collinsville to Proserpine transmission line to power homes and businesses in the Whitsunday region.

Energy Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, said Queensland’s publicly owned electricity company Powerlink had completed the project, supporting 116 jobs.

“This investment will help sustain the region’s local economy – one of Queensland’s major tourism hubs – by strengthening the transmission network’s performance,” Dr Lynham said.

“The global Coronavirus pandemic is impacting economies around the world and Queensland is no different.

“Because Queenslanders have done such a great job fighting Coronavirus, we can now focus on delivering Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.

“It’s pleasing to see Powerlink deliver yet another important project to play its part in powering the economy, by supplying reliable electricity to more than four million Queenslanders and supporting jobs in the process.”

The major project involved refitting more than 190 transmission towers along 76km of line supplying electricity to Collinsville, Proserpine and the broader Whitsunday area.

Built in the late 1960s, condition assessments of the line identified a number of components needing to be refitted, largely due to corrosion from the tropical local environment.

On-ground works for the long-term project started in 2016 and were completed in stages over several years to minimise impacts on directly connected customers and the wider transmission network.

Powerlink Chief Executive, Paul Simshauser, said the sheer length of the Collinsville to Proserpine line made this the longest refit project undertaken by Powerlink to date.

“Our specialist crews strengthened tower foundations, replaced corroded bolts, steelwork and insulators, cleaned and hand-painted towers, and restored anti-climbing barriers,” Mr Simshauser said.

“Undertaking this work along 76km of line required meticulous planning and flexibility. With some towers located on large cattle grazing properties, in the Proserpine State Forest and other isolated locations, site access proved challenging.

“On-ground work was also impacted by the inevitable extended wet seasons in North Queensland, including Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie in 2017.

“Powerlink was committed to delivering the project safely and efficiently at all times, and we thank landholders and the local community for their patience while this essential work was undertaken.”

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