Electricity projects support jobs, growth for Wide Bay

About $37 million worth of electrical infrastructure, supporting 95 jobs, is underway in the Wide Bay to support the region’s future growth.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Powerlink had hit the halfway mark in a $33 million revamp of its 50-year-old Gin Gin Substation, and work is underway on a $4 million project to replace insulators on a critical transmission line between Gin Gin and Woolooga.

“These projects will secure an ongoing reliable electricity supply for major centres in region including Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Gympie,” Dr Lynham said.

“The transmission network in the Wide Bay area plays an important role in linking the south-east and Central Queensland, and supporting the area’s industrial, agriculture and tourism sectors.

“This is all about meeting the future energy needs of community and industry to support jobs and economic growth.”

The Gin Gin substation rebuild involves replacing old equipment and reconfiguring the network.

Powerlink Interim Chief Executive Kevin Kehl said the rebuild would ensure the substation met contemporary needs now and into the future

“Project works have been planned to deliver key activities in stages to ensure ongoing security and reliability during construction,” he said.

Work has also started on replacing 1260 insulator strings and steelwork on 332 transmission towers between Gin Gin and Woolooga substations.

Dr Lynham said the 150 kilometre-long transmission line – built in 1982 – played a critical role in transferring power across the Wide Bay region.

“This project ensures the transmission line will continue to operate reliably for its remaining service life and provide safe, reliable electricity for the entire region,” he said.

Innovative work practices are being used to replace the ageing insulators while the 275kV transmission line remains fully energised, or ‘live’.

This method minimises potential impacts on customers by avoiding the need for planned outages on the network.

The Gin Gin Substation rebuild project is scheduled for completion in late 2021, while works to replace insulators on the Gin Gin to Woolooga transmission line are expected to continue until mid 2020, weather dependent.

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