CopperString 2032 prepares for major construction to begin in mid-2024

Monica Gameng   |   February 4, 2024

The $5 billion CopperString 2032 has reached significant project milestones with early works progressing and the announcement of the site for the permanent SuperGrid Training Centre and Transmission Hub. 

Construction partners UGL and CPB Contractors have commenced early works that include site investigations, design and construction planning ahead of major construction activities, which will begin later this year. 

“Australia’s energy transition is picking up speed and our people bring a combination of local community experience, collaborative delivery frameworks and industry leading expertise to every project. 

“Together with our clients and delivery partners, we share the ultimate goal of a future powered by renewable energy, and this commitment underpins our One Team culture with our joint venture partner, UGL,” CPB Contractors Managing Director Jason Spears said. 

“UGL, and our JV partner and sister company CPB Contractors, have long supported the design and development of the CopperString 2032 project including early works and site field investigations. 

“UGL is a market leader in design, construction, operations and maintenance across the energy sector and we look forward to working with Powerlink to continue the development of CopperString,” UGL Managing Director Doug Moss said. 

It was also announced that Powerlink will be recruiting Townsville-based apprentices for the first time. A 22-person team will also be stationed in Townsville in the coming weeks to support the delivery of works on CopperString. 

The Townsville-based workers will be located at the temporary SuperGrid Training Centre and Transmission Hub at Bohle while the permanent 10-hectare hub is being built – which was announced to be located at Cleveland Bay Industrial Park. 

This announcement comes as 35 new apprentices and graduates from across the State begin their careers with Powerlink. 

“Growing our presence in North Queensland is a sign of our long-term commitment to the region. 

“This year, we will also officially break ground on CopperString as part of a five-year journey to build the electrical superhighway of the north. 

“Powerlink has always been part of the North Queensland community, and now we are at the forefront of Queensland’s energy transformation. I would strongly encourage businesses and individuals alike to seize on the opportunities as they arise,” Powerlink Chief Executive Officer Paul Simshauser said. 

“It’s important Powerlink have a base of workers in Townsville to deliver this project which will help unlock billions of dollars in critical mineral deposits. 

“On my recent trade delegation to the United States, government and businesses were excited to hear how CopperString would unlock more opportunities for critical minerals,” Resources and Critical Minerals Minister and Townsville MP Scott Stewart said. 

The $5 billion CopperString 2032 is a key infrastructure development that will connect the largest renewable energy zone in Australia’s east coast with $500 billion worth of critical minerals.

This massive transmission project includes: 

  • 500kV transmission line from just south of Townsville to Hughenden 
  • 330kV transmission line from Hughenden to Cloncurry 
  • 220kV transmission line from Cloncurry to Mount Isa 
  • Up to six new substations 

CopperString 2032 is expected to support hundreds of jobs over its life, with dozens of local businesses already benefitting from the project. A further 450 businesses, including 250 from regional Queensland, have registered their interest in working on the project. 

Approximately 50 works packages are in the Expressions of Interest phase. These work packages cover a range of activities and services such as engineering, construction, environmental management, logistics, camp construction, haulage and communications. 

Major construction on CopperString 2032 will commence in mid-2024 and is expected to be completed by 2029. 

“We’re powering ahead to deliver clean economy jobs for Queenslanders, and by making progress on CopperString, it means we can create more skilled jobs for Queenslanders, while protecting and supporting existing jobs and industries. 

“Not only does this project benefit workers in industries like engineering and construction, but it also means big benefits to small business,” Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs Mick de Brenni said. 

“This is a great opportunity for young people to get an apprenticeship on a nation building infrastructure project which will transform North Queensland,” Mundingburra MP Les Walker said. 

“Creating local jobs during construction as well as new opportunities for critical minerals projects is what CopperString is about,” Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper said. 

Source: CPB Contractors; CIMIC Group; Queensland Government – Media Statements; Powerlink (1, 2

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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