$1.5 billion CopperString project reaches new milestone

The proposed $1.5 billion CopperString project continues to push ahead, with the final terms of reference for the project’s environmental impact statement (EIS) released today.

Reaching this milestone allows the proponent, CuString, to start working on a draft EIS for public consultation, and is recognised as a key part of the approval process.

CuString plan to build a 1100-kilometre high voltage overhead electricity transmission line connecting the North West Minerals Province and Mount Isa to the National Electricity Market grid south of Townsville.

Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said CuString aims to provide reliable electricity to communities and mines across eight local government areas, while offering an alternative electricity supply to the north-west.

“The project could create up to 400 full-time jobs during its three-and-a-half-year construction phase and support around 30 full-time jobs once fully operational,” Mr Dick said.

“The optical fibre network capability of the project would also help to enhance mobile phone and internet services in our state’s north and north-west.”

“These terms of reference follow public consultation and will ensure potential impacts on the natural, social and economic environment are appropriately considered.

“CuString will now prepare a draft EIS, and once that satisfies Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General the community will have another opportunity to have their say on the project.”

Previously announced as a $1 billion project, the proponent has indicated an increase in capital expenditure to $1.5 billion following additional scoping.

For the purpose of advancing CopperString’s pre-construction phase, the Palaszczuk Government recently contributed $1.18 million to the project, supported through the North West Queensland Economic Diversification Strategy.

Subject to approvals, CuString proposes to commence the first stage of construction, building a 720-kilometre overhead powerline from Woodstock, south of Townsville, to the Chumvale Substation near Cloncurry by the end of 2020.

It’s 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.

View the final terms of reference.

Learn more about the CopperString project.

/Public Release. View in full here.