Prime Minister Scott Morrison has met with CopperString 2.0 founders John and Joseph O’Brien, as well as other industry stakeholders from major North and North-West Queensland minerals businesses in Townsville.
Mr Morrison joined State LNP Leader Deb Frecklington to fly over transmission lines south of Townsville where the CopperString network would connect to the national transmission grid.
Other sites on the fly-over included the Port of Townsville, Sun Metals Zinc Refinery and solar farm, Glencore Copper Refineries and Powerlink’s Ross high-voltage substation.
Local Townsville based business Meridian Helicopters, a national leader in specialist industrial services including construction and maintenance of major transmission lines across Australia, hosted the trip.
The 1100km long CopperString transmission network would link the North West Minerals Province to the National Electricity Market (NEM).
The Morrison Government’s 2020-21 Budget included additional funding to enable the transformative CopperString 2.0 high voltage transmission network to continue its pathway to construction in mid-2021, proponent CuString said.
It said this would trigger additional investment from the private sector and ensure CopperString could move quickly to a Final Investment Decision (FID) expected in mid-2021.
The Australian Government’s budget allocation builds on the previous contribution of $4.7 million in 2018 toward early development costs for the project.
“CopperString is very grateful for the ongoing commitment from the Prime Minister and his government to the development of North and North-West Queensland,” Joseph O’Brien said.
Meridian Helicopters founder and chief executive officer Geoff Keir said being involved in CopperString would be an enormous boost that would require the business to expand its workforce and invest more in plant and equipment in Townsville.
“The economic benefit would give our business and many others in the region and enormous confidence boost to continue growing,” he said.