The McGowan Government has approved the upgrade of the Karratha to Dampier 132 kilovolt transmission line – a critical piece of electrical infrastructure in the Pilbara.
Horizon Power and its primary contractor Powerlines Plus will begin work early next year to upgrade the transmission line, connecting the Karratha terminal sub-station to the Dampier sub-station, which is critical to the security of supply on the North West Interconnected System.
Commissioning of the upgraded equipment is due to be completed by the end of 2020, ahead of the 2020-21 cyclone season.
The upgrade, which will create 14 regional jobs, will ensure the continued reliability and safety of electricity supplies to the Pilbara with the replacement of ageing assets.
It will also help support the growing demand for energy by delivering robust foundation transmission infrastructure into the Burrup Strategic Industrial Area.
The upgrade involves the replacement of 13 kilometres of aged equipment on the existing 19km transmission line.
Old wooden poles will be replaced by a combination of steel poles and undergrounding, which means the number of poles will be reduced by 65 per cent, improving town aesthetics and improving safety near the local airport.
As stated by Energy Minister Bill Johnston:
“The North West Interconnected System is central to the supply of electricity in the Pilbara region and the burgeoning mining and resource sectors.
“This upgrade will support the secure and efficient operation of the electricity system and provide access to prospective growth opportunities in the Burrup Peninsula.
“The new equipment will be able to withstand cyclonic winds and be more secure due to the latest design and technology.”
As stated by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:
“It is vital that we ensure our Pilbara communities are safe during cyclone season.
“The upgrade of the 45-year old transmission line will create local jobs, improve town aesthetics, and ensure reliability of the power supply for Dampier residents.”