A $9 million investment in maintenance works for Powerlink’s transmission network in North Queensland will help maintain network performance and ensure the safe, reliable and cost effective supply of high voltage electricity.

Maintenance works will include replacing 100km of earth wire from Townsville to Chalumbin Substation near Tully, and refitting 18 transmission towers on the transmission line to Kareeya Substation.

Earth wires have a dual role of protecting transmission lines from lightning strikes and providing a communication path to allow remote operation and monitoring of Powerlink’s network.

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said Powerlink’s transmission network was vital in powering the North Queensland economy.

“This transmission line is an important link in supporting North Queensland’s continued economic sustainability and growth,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“These essential works will support more than 23 jobs and will extend the technical life of the transmission line to Kareeya Substation for another 15 years.”

Queensland Minister for Energy, Mark Bailey, said the transmission lines were built in the late 1980s and condition assessments identified that targeted maintenance was required.

“These types of maintenance works avoids or delays the need for new infrastructure, making it a cost effective solution for electricity consumers,” Mr Bailey said.

“Powerlink’s transmission network supplies electricity to almost four million Queenslanders and this type of work is vital to ensure its ongoing reliability and security.”

Powerlink Chief Executive, Merryn York, said maintenance works activities had commenced and are expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

“Our specialist crews will use helicopters to support the installation of the earth wire as it reduces the impact on the community and environment,” Ms York said.

“The refit works on the 18 towers near Kareeya Substation will involve replacing corroded bolts and steelwork, installing new tower signs and anti-climbing equipment, and re-painting some of the towers.” 

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