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The Powerlink-led CopperString 2032 project has signed off on a $20 million early works package with CIMIC Group companies UGL and CPB Contractors.

This package will fast-track development of the project’s design standards for the expanded 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission line from Townsville to Hughenden, plus associated works.

Powerlink Chief Executive Paul Simshauser said this was a significant milestone, and marked the first step towards the practical delivery of this $5 billion landmark project for North Queensland.

“As we work towards construction commencing in 2024, the early works package is progressing under the Early Contractor Involvement Agreement between Powerlink and the UGL/CPB Contractors Joint Venture”, Mr Simshauser said.

“This means the project can progress key engineering design, detailed investigation works and approvals so we can move into the construction phase to connect the North West Minerals Province to the national electricity grid.

“With Joint Venture partners UGL and CPB Contractors now on-board, we will be fast-tracking development of the design standards for the expanded 500kV transmission line from Townsville to Hughenden as well as associated works to progress the project towards construction commencing in 2024.”

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said around 800 jobs would be supported through project construction.

“Copperstring 2032 will be connected to the Queensland SuperGrid, the nation’s largest energy grid, meaning that wherever energy is generated–we can capture it, send it, store it, and use it wherever it is needed,” Minister de Brenni said.

“As CopperString 2032 progresses we’re also set to see a number of high quality renewables resources become available in the Hughenden region – a region that has the potential to become Australia’s largest Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).”

CIMIC Group Executive Chairman Juan Santamaria said both UGL and CPB Contractors had a proud history of working in regional Australia delivering landmark energy projects.

“Through UGL and CPB Contractors, both part of CIMIC Group, we are pleased to further strengthen our involvement with CopperString and to support the Queensland Government to deliver the important infrastructure that will form the Queensland SuperGrid electricity system, and the economic and employment benefits it will bring to communities,” Mr Santamaria said. 

More information can be found on the project webpage at 

22 Jun 2023