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Industry News, Latest News, Projects, Queensland

Old gold mine to transform into hydro electric facility

A joint venture between John Holland and McConnell Dowell will begin work on transforming a gold mine into a pumped hydro facility.

The construction is part of Queensland’s Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project, which aims to provide energy security for the region.

The early works program agreement for the project includes hydraulic design for the hydro turbines to be used in the project and will be followed by prepatory works to set up the major project site.

The project aims to act as a natural battery storage, allowing energy to be stored and harnessed on demand. It will include an upper reservoir formed by a 20-metre-high dam around the existing Wises Pit, a lower reservoir utilising the existing Eldridge Pit, a powerhouse cavern with the capacity to generate 250 megawatts, a tailrace allowing water to pass from the powerhouse to the reservoirs and a spillway from the upper reservoir to the Copperfield River.

Financial close for the project is expected in early May 2019.

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John Holland CEO Joe Barr said the project would be a game-changer for Queensland.

“This is an important project for the state, and for Australia, to make sure future generations have access to reliable, cost-effective, and clean energy,” Barr said.

General Manager QLD/NT Rob Evans said the energy generated by the project would be supplied to the national grid and provide storage for Queensland.

“This has the potential to create more than 600 jobs during construction and is an innovative solution that will boost the local economy while securing reliable, renewable energy,” Evans said.

The project is expected to be completed by 2021.