Powerlinks Mackay Substation on Queensland’s east coast is receiving a $24 million upgrade to further secure electricity supply and support continued economic growth in the region.

The six-year project by Powerlink is supporting 39 jobs and involves upgrading a transformer, rebuilding the switchyards and installing new support systems to improve network performance.

Planning for stage two has begun with construction scheduled to be complete by 2019.

Queensland Minister for Energy, Mark Bailey, said the project would ensure the reliable and cost-effective supply of high-voltage electricity in the Mackay region.

“Powerlink’s transmission network plays an important role in powering the Queensland economy, being responsible for providing electricity to almost four million people,” Mr Bailey said.

“Mackay is a major business centre for the mining, agricultural and tourism industries so it is critical the region continues to have access to a reliable supply of electricity.”

Member for Mackay, Julieanne Gilbert, said the project will deliver both short-term and long-term benefits.

“The substation upgrade and the jobs it continues to support is great news for the region,” Ms Gilbert said.

“Works on the Mackay substation will also help meet the future energy needs for the local community.”

Powerlink Queensland Chief Executive, Merryn York, said the focus of the project was to extend the life of the substation at the lowest long run cost for consumers.

“Rather than undertake a major replacement, our approach is to target specific equipment such as replacing one of the three transformers and upgrading the support systems,” Ms York said.

“As part of our focus on delivering better value for consumers we undertook a review of the project which achieved a $9 million cost reduction while still meeting our statutory reliability standards.

“All works have also been planned to avoid disruptions to supply.” 

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