The connection of the North West Province with the national electricity grid has is one step closer in the CopperString’s project to provide power to both future and existing mines past 2030.
The North West Star reports the company last week launched an application for approval as an Infrastructure Facility of Significance (IFS), in the next stage in government approvals for the project.
It follows the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which was submitted last year and submissions by those affected by the project were due on 1 March.
The latest developments bring the project one step closer and leaves only the finalisation of commercial arrangement and negotiations, if the EIS and IFS are approved.
McKinley Shire Mayor Paul Woodhouse said it is encouraging to see another step in the CopperString project.
“We look forward to the conclusion of the process and hope both governments have the courage to go ahead with visionary projects like CopperString,” he said.
“It will eventually help with more local generation of energy in North West Queensland so that the region will have access to a greater electricity supply.”
Xstrata’s Mt Isa mine in the North West has constructed one of Australia’s largest solar installations to provide energy for its accommodation units.
The Copperstring project will run a 723 kilometre, 330Kv electricity transmission line from Woodstock near Townsville to Cloncurry, plus a further line from Cloncurry to Mount Isa and Cloncurry to Phosphate Hill and Cannington mine.
Woodhouse said the CopperString project will help revitalise small communities between Mount Isa and Townsville and also bring competition to the Mount Isa electricity network.
It will be built along the “clean energy corridor”, joining several renewable energy projects including solar and hydro power.
The project also has the potential to add electricity to the grid on route to Townsville.