22 September 2023

Pumped hydro to help meet Qld energy targets

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The Queensland Government has committed $6 billion to build the Borumba Pumped Hydro Project, about 50 kilometres south west of Gympie. 

This funding means Queensland Hydro can progress with exploratory works, as well as an environmental impact assessment and detailed engineering. 

Exploratory works will include detailed geological investigations such as geotechnical drilling and excavation of an exploratory tunnel to the proposed underground powerhouse cavern.  

As well as this, other early work will involve: 

  • Road improvements 
  • Construction of access tracks and temporary exploratory workers’ camps 
  • Supporting infrastructure. 

The 2000 megawatt pumped hydro energy storage facility is expected to cost a total of $14.2 billion. 

The Queensland Department of Energy and Public Works says the project will accelerate the decarbonisation of Queensland’s energy system, providing the energy storage needed to meet renewable energy targets of 70% by 2032 and 80% by 2035. It will also deliver an estimated 2,300 jobs and economic opportunities for Queensland businesses. 

Borumba Pumped Hydro is expected to produce its first power in 2030. 

Queensland Hydro held industry briefings in July and is using ICN Gateway to gauge local capacity and capability for the project. 

According to a press release, almost 450 people attended the Brisbane briefing, either in person or online, to hear directly from Queensland Hydro CEO Kieran Cusack and senior members of the Queensland Hydro team. A further 200 people attended regional briefings in Caloundra and Gympie and almost another 100 online. 

“Queensland Hydro wants our Borumba Pumped Hydro Project to be a project of choice for Queensland businesses and workers. I’m thrilled to be able to launch these work packages and to partner with strong, capable contractors and suppliers to deliver a world-class asset,” Mr Cusack said.   

“The Borumba Pumped Hydro project will deliver reliable and secure energy and these work packages mean benefits for both supply and employment opportunities for Queenslanders with around 2000 jobs expected to be created during the project. 

“We deeply and genuinely care about engagement within our communities and with our project stakeholders. Working with regions is key to us understanding how this can happen with a strong focus on issues of housing, workforce resourcing and the safety of the community.” 

View a recording of the Brisbane industry briefing. 

ICN Qld Procurement Engineering Specialist Jatin Patel encourage local suppliers to register their interest via the Borumba Pumped Hydro Gateway page. 

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