Massive Jobs Boost coming down the line with CopperString following State Government commitment
Pre-construction development work on the much needed CopperString 2.0 transmission line will continue at pace following the Queensland Government’s announcement that it is backing the proposal and providing additional support of up to $14.8 million for the project to continue its march towards a final investment decision.
CopperString 2.0 is a major common use energy infrastructure proposal which will be critical to sustaining and growing the minerals economy across North and North-west Queensland.
Copperstring 2.0 Director, Mr Joseph O’Brien said that the CopperString project is transformative as it provides the missing link between the national electricity grid and one of the world’s top minerals basins right here in our own back yard in regional Queensland - the North West Minerals Province.
“By extending the national electricity grid from Townsville across the North to Mount Isa, the 1,100 kilometre transmission network known as CopperString will deliver significantly cheaper electricity to wholesale customers in the North West Minerals Province and underpin the creation of thousands of minerals mining and industrial manufacturing jobs for generations to come,” Mr O’Brien said.
The CopperString transmission line will also provide access to the National Electricity Market (NEM) for some of Australia’s best large-scale renewable energy resources thereby stimulating new clean energy investment.
An independent study by minerals sector experts and economic advisors, which we will release in coming weeks forecasts a massive boost to Queensland’s economy, particularly North and North-West Queensland with significant increases in real income, employment and exports resulting from, finally, providing the North West Minerals Province access to flexible and competitive electricity supply via the NEM.
“Supply chain security for traditional minerals including copper, zinc and phosphate as well as “new-economy” minerals is a critical issue for the global economy in a post-COVID world and this ensures strong demand for the North West Minerals Province commodities and an important and exciting opportunity for the Townsville to Mount Isa industrial economy,” Mr O’Brien said.
The resource economics study reveals that if Copperstring 2.0 is constructed an additional $154 billion of aggregate gross value minerals production is forecast from established and new mines over the next 25 years resulting in more exports through the Port of Townsville.
Subject to finalising development activities including environmental and regulatory approvals, CopperString will create hundreds of jobs over a three-year construction period planned to commence in the firsthalf of 2021 and 30 direct operational jobs with ongoing benefits for local communities across the Townsville to Mount Isa region. Economic analysis forecast CopperString would be a catalyst for significant gains in employment through increased investment in the minerals mining and processing sector.
Mr O’Brien said the project’s detailed planning and state of readiness meant that a development funding commitment from the State Government would see the project stay on track to be “shovel ready” in the first half of 2021, ensuring Queensland’s COVID19 economic recovery strategy delivered benefits for many years to come in addition to other short-term stimulus initiatives which was particularly important for regional Queensland.
Independent analysis concluded that access to the national electricity grid and NEM via CopperString is expected to lower the cost of electricity in the NWMP by up to 40%, this will be a game changer for industry and job creation in North and North West Queensland.
“Emissions intensity of electricity supplied to the region is forecast to reduce by over 55% making Queensland’s minerals resource sector more globally competitive, creating more jobs, and attracting more investment, Mr O’Brien said.
“This commitment from the Queensland Government to such a major piece of economic infrastructure for Northern Queensland is a powerful message of support to our minerals mining and processing industry that will translate into thousands of additional jobs for Townsville and the North-west.”, Mr O’Brien said.
“Current power costs and lack of alternative for supply in the North West Minerals Province mean it is currently very difficult to invest in new minerals production and this risk to the regional Queensland economy will not reduce unless energy costs can be reduced,” he said.
”Today’s commitment from the Queensland Government is important for CopperString, and for the minerals and renewable energy projects across Northern Queensland and puts the region in a strong position of State and Federal support to deliver this game-changing transmission infrastructure and real economic sustainability for our region.” Mr O’Brien said.
About CopperString 2.0
· $1.5 billion capital expenditure
· 1,100 kilometres of overhead high-voltage electricity transmission network
· CopperString will connect the North West Minerals Province, centred on Mount Isa and Cloncurry, to the National Electricity Market (NEM) near Townsville
· The project will create hundreds jobs during construction and up to 30 operational jobs.
· CopperString will use an estimated:
o 60,000 tonnes of steel for transmission towers and reinforcement in foundations and
o 125,000 cubic metres of concrete.
· $1.18 million grant from the State Government in August 2019.
· $4.7 million grant from the Federal Government in April 2019, allocated to assist with early works
· CopperString is also being considered for funding under the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
Media comment, Joseph O’Brien: 0418 784 438.
Media information, Dolan Hayes (Empower PR): 0455 666 375