From 8 July 2019, Queenslanders will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed $1 billion CopperString powerline, with draft terms of reference for the project’s environmental impact statement (EIS) released by the state’s independent Coordinator-General.
The 1100km, 275kVA overhead, high-voltage electricity transmission line will connect the North West Minerals Province and Mount Isa to the National Electricity Market grid south of Townsville.
Acting Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Stirling Hinchliffe, said the proposed powerline will help the region plug into new industrial opportunities, creating jobs for the region and boosting the local economy.
“This important project could create up to 400 full-time jobs during its three-and-a-half-year construction phase and support up to 30 full-time jobs once fully operational,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“The proponent has stated the project will provide reliable electricity to communities and mines through eight local government areas, as well as an alternative electricity supply to the North West Minerals Province.”
The period for public comment on the draft terms of reference concludes 2 August 2019.
When finalised, the terms of reference will set out the matters the proponent must address when preparing the EIS for the project.
“This process is crucial as it helps to shape the final terms of reference, which ensure potential impacts on our natural, social and economic environment are appropriately considered,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Once a draft EIS is received and approved by the Coordinator-General, the community will then be invited to comment on the project itself.”
Subject to approval, the proponent CuString proposes to commence the first stage of construction, building a 720km overhead powerline from Woodstock, south of Townsville, to the Chumvale Substation near Cloncurry by the end of 2020.
Its anticipated operations would commence by the end of 2022.
CuString then proposes to extend the line from the Chumvale Substation to Mount Isa and south to the Phosphate Hill Power Station and Cannington Mine as early as 2024, subject to demand.