Early works now underway on Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project QLD

Monica Gameng   |   January 6, 2021
Kidston project (cr: Genex Power)

Early works are now underway on Genex Power’s 250MW Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro) in Far North Queensland. The early works commenced in late December 2020, following the Final Investment Decision. 

The entire scope of early works include: 

  • Development of a new 275kV transmission line connecting the K2-Hydro project to the National Electricity Market (NEM) 
  • Renovation of Oaks Rush Construction Camp to provide accommodation during the construction of K2-Hydro 
  • Refurbishment of the Kidston Airstrip to allow for mobilisation of the workforce 
  • Upgrading of communication infrastructure 

“Genex has been working tirelessly with all our project stakeholders to progress the development of the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project to this point, and we are delighted to have commenced a targeted programme of early works which will ensure the site is ready for construction activity to start early in 2021,” Genex Power CEO James Harding said. 

animation-for-hydro_origProject site (source: Genex Power)

Genex Power has signed an Early Works Agreement with Powerlink prior to the execution of a Connection & Access Agreement for the Kidston project. 

With the Early Works Agreement in place, Powerlink will build, own and operate a new transmission line that will connect K2-Hydro to the NEM. In addition, Powerlink will also undertake the establishment of project management processes, contractor engagement and transmission line design. 

On the other hand, the renovation of the Oaks Rush Construction Camp includes the completion of refurbishment design of the camp and securing all necessary building approvals. Renovating the camp will allow for it to accommodate up to 500 people during the construction of K2-Hydro. The renovated camp will also serve as a long-term accommodation once K2-Hydro is up and running. 

Necessary refurbishments on the existing Kidston Airstrip have also commenced. The works will include re-sealing of the airstrip to allow for fly-in-fly-out services that will transport employees working on the development of K2-Hydro. 

The last component of early works will involve upgrading on-site communication infrastructure, which includes identifying and securing microwave tower sites and the construction of access tracks to their locations. 

The new communication infrastructure will help improve the communication signal strength at the project site, which is necessary for the development and operation of K2-Hydro. 

“K2-Hydro is a significant development project for regional Queensland. It will create over 500 direct jobs during the construction phase, and will support businesses and communities in Kidston, Einasleigh and the surrounding areas of Northern Queensland. We look forward to providing further updates on the final approvals and financial close process for K2-Hydro in the coming weeks,” Mr Harding said. 

K2-Hydro is going to be built on the site of the old Kidston Gold Mine, located approximately 270 kilometres north west of Townsville. 

The project will utilise the two existing mine pits – Wises and Eldridge – as upper and lower reservoirs, minimising construction time and cost. 

The McConnell Dowell and John Holland joint venture has been appointed as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) as well as operation and maintenance (O&M) contractor for K2-Hydro. 

Major construction works are expected to commence in the first quarter of 2021.

Once operational, K2-Hydro will have a storage capacity of 2,000MWh or 250MW for 8 hours. 

Source: Genex Power (1, 2, 3); Renew Economy 

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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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