FNQ jobs rush for hydro project

In Business Resources, Featured Home Page News, Government, Queensland

The repurposing of an open-cut gold mine to a hydro project56 west of Cairns is set to deliver a jobs boom following the construction start of the Kidston pumped upper reservoir.

Genex Power chief executive officer James Harding said “There’s lots of activity, lots of construction underground and on the surface and we are looking forward to getting into the construction of equipment phase at the start of next year,”

“All up this project is delivering nearly 900 construction jobs.

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from Cairns post 

A REPURPOSED open cut gold mine west of Cairns is set to deliver a jobs boom as major earth, electrical and mechanical works hit top gear following a construction start of the Kidston pumped hydro project’s upper reservoir.

Bang on a projected construction timeline the Wises dam levee, when complete, will have the capacity to store 2,000MWh of energy that will generate electricity by releasing gravity fed water to drive reversible pump turbines.

Genex Power chief executive officer James Harding with, Resources Minister Scott Stewart, Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni and Etheridge Mayor Barry Hughes turn the first sod ahead of the construction of the upper dam wall of the Kidston pumped hydro project. Picture: Peter Carruthers

Genex Power chief executive officer James Harding with, Resources Minister Scott Stewart, Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni and Etheridge Mayor Barry Hughes turn the first sod ahead of the construction of the upper dam wall of the Kidston pumped hydro project. Picture: Peter Carruthers

After dropping from the top reservoir, water will be pumped back into the upper dam during off peak times using power generated by an onsite solar photovoltaic power plant.

Genex Power chief executive officer James Harding said currently 120 workers were on site at the project 400km southwest of Cairns.

“But that’s ramping up as we build up construction of the dam and at the peak when we have full swing civil construction and when we have the installation of all the mechanical and electrical equipment we will have 430 people here,” he said.

An additional 300-400 workers will be needed to install 186km of new transmission line to connect the plant to the grid.

“There’s lots of activity, lots of construction underground and on the surface and we are looking forward to getting into the construction of equipment phase at the start of next year,” he said.

“All up this project is delivering nearly 900 construction jobs.

“We are on time and on schedule for the completion of the project.”

Genex Power is building the Kidston Pumped Hydro Storage project (K2H) in these decommissioned mines.

Genex Power is building the Kidston Pumped Hydro Storage project (K2H) in these decommissioned mines.

Tunnellers with drill and blast experience, dump truck operators, jumbo operators, excavator operators, mechanics and electricians are all required by lead contractor John Holland in partnership with McConnell Dowell.

The first Queensland scheme of its kind to be built in the past 40-years the $777m project is expected to be generating electricity by the end of 2024.

Energy Minister Mick de Brenni together with Resources Minister Scott Stewart were given a comprehensive project update from the site on Thursday.

“We are looking forward to seeing this project as a key part of our renewable energy future when it becomes operational,” Minister de Brenni said.

“Progress is on track … to deliver something that will transform Queensland’s economy.

“This is not just a civil construction project, it’s not just an energy project, this is the most significant economic development that we have on our books.”

Earth moving machines begin construction of the upper dam wall that will gravity feed water into a lower dam to create power at the Kidston pumped hydro project. Picture: Peter Carruthers

Earth moving machines begin construction of the upper dam wall that will gravity feed water into a lower dam to create power at the Kidston pumped hydro project. Picture: Peter Carruthers

Mr Stewart said the Kidston project was key to regional diversification and unlocking the mineral rich northwest of the state.

“By using and harnessing this energy it will create those alternative energies that will give us the (environmental, social and governance) credentialing and sourcing of new economy minerals that the world is craving,” he said.

Etheridge Mayor Barry Hughes said the flow-on benefits for the local community could not be understated.

“We certainly welcome the commitment by Genex,” he said.

“Investor confidence is always high on the agenda and I think this sends a very clear message … its integral to sustaining small regional rural areas like Etheridge.”

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