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EOIs called for Borumba hydro project

Moves are afoot on a major Queensland infrastructure project.

Queensland Hydro has called for opening Expressions of Interest for underground works on the $14.2billion Borumba pumped hydro energy project in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

It marks the first step in the most significant program to be delivered during the exploratory works phase of the project said Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni.

“Experts and responsible leaders around the world are recognising the critical role of pumped hydropower in unlocking the capacity of renewables and delivering the clean energy transition,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Pumped Hydro offers a trifecta of opportunity by driving sustainable economic growth, bringing wealth and equality to more communities, and combating climate change.

“This next phase of works on the Borumba Pumped Hydro project shows how committed Queensland Hydro and the Palaszczuk Government are to delivering this key clean energy project.

“Throughout construction the project will deliver a significant uplift in jobs and a boost to the regional economy, and once completed, it will also deliver cleaner, cheaper and more secure energy for all Queenslanders.”

“As the cornerstone of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, our pumped hydro projects will ensure Queensland remains on track to meeting its renewable energy targets, while ensuring we can continue to put ongoing downward pressure on electricity bills for years to come.”

Related: Queensland Hydro will present the Borumba Pumped Hydro Project and its potential procurement at a Connecting Industry Luncheon in Gladstone on April 17.

The package includes the excavation of soil and rock utilising controlled blast and drilling methods, rather than tunnel boring machine, to form a D-shaped tunnel leading to the proposed site of the underground powerhouse cavern.

This tunnelling will compliment surface geological investigations, which together will provide a detailed understanding of ground conditions to inform detailed design of the project and how it is best delivered.

The works will be accompanied by the required environmental approvals and once complete, the excavated tunnel will be repurposed to become a permanent cable tunnel.

The EOI release follows the Coordinator-General’s coordinated project declaration on 12 October 2023, signalling the start of the rigorous assessment of social, economic and environmental matters before the Borumba Project’s Main Works can begin.

The first of the Palaszczuk Governments two foundational hydropower energy storage projects, the 2000MW Borumba project will charge up from excess wind and solar generated in the states south east to deliver power for up to 2 millions households.

Once underway, the project’s main works will create more than 2,000 jobs during construction and boost the regional economy by tens of millions said Mr de Brenni.

This article first appeared in IQ Industry Queensland.

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