Around 750 construction jobs for North Queensland are a step closer after the $1.7 billion CopperString 2.0 project secured a major $17 million financing agreement with Korea Zinc Company Limited.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her Government had been a long-term supporter of the job-generating proposal to construct a 1,100 kilometre transmission line to connect the North West Minerals Province with the National Electricity Market.
“That’s why I announced my Government had entered into an implementation agreement with CopperString late last year to provide certainty for the project and the jobs it provides,” the Premier said.
“It’s big projects like this that will help in Queensland’s economic recovery and long term growth opportunities.
“This builds on our $50 billion infrastructure guarantee and means jobs, jobs, jobs for North Queensland are a step closer.
“CopperString 2.0 will also open up land for the development of more solar and wind generation and support renewable generation capacity for a hydrogen export industry.”
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the project would transform the North Queensland economy.
“It has the potential to be the most transformative project for the North Queensland economy since the construction of the Great Northern Railway reached Mount Isa in 1929,” the Deputy premier said.
“It will transmit energy for new industries and that means supporting new mining, minerals processing and industrial jobs to support development in renewables.”
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said CopperString has the potential to connect the North-west to the National Energy Market.
“This is another vote of confidence from industry that Queensland is the place to invest in the future of energy,” Mr de Brenni said.
“CopperString will deliver cheaper, cleaner energy, unlocking investment in manufacturing and resources jobs for North Queenslanders.”
Resources Minister and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the International Energy Agency’s latest prediction is that 80 per cent of growth in electricity demand will be in renewables to 2030.
“That means more worldwide demand for critical minerals including cobalt, copper and vanadium,” he said.
“Queensland has the metals needed for renewables and computers, tablets and mobile phones that will be in higher demand.”
Yun Choi, Vice Chairman of Korea Zinc, said he sees great potential for CopperString to strengthen the industrial and clean energy ecosystem across the Townsville to Mount Isa corridor.
“This regional economic development opportunity is important to Sun Metals and Korea Zinc, and is a strong element of our interest in supporting the CopperString project,” Mr Choi said.
“We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Palaszczuk Government and CopperString in relation to minerals processing, renewable energy and hydrogen development.”
Mr Joseph O’Brien, Managing Director, CuString, congratulated the Queensland Government for the collaborative approach to the tripartite arrangement with CuString and Korea Zinc and for backing innovative infrastructure solutions such as CopperString to help steer Queensland back to prosperity after the COVID slowdown.