Another milestone for clean energy corridor
THE Australian Party Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has welcomed today’s announcement of the CopperString transmission project connecting North and North‐West Qld being declared an Infrastructure Facility of Significance by the Qld Government.
"This approval guarantees a corridor of land for the 1000km‐long, high‐voltage electricity line between Townsville and Mount Isa, which will offer a desperately‐needed lifeline to existing mines struggling with power bills and proposed mines that would not get up without it," said Mr Katter.
"It will also be a lifeline for the regional and remote communities who will benefit from the clean energy projects proposed under the umbrella of the Northern Australia Clean Energy Corridor.
"Along the CopperString line, two giant clean energy power plants have emerged – the Hughenden Windlab proposal providing 660mgwts (over 200mgwts base load) and the Pentland solar/biofuels proposal producing 450mgwt of base load power and 1000mgltrs of ethanol a year.
"If the Ingham bio‐energy mill and Tully mill conversion was added, with only 5 per cent of NQ’s water and 1 per cent of NQ land, we can:
- Create 4000 direct jobs (at 10 jobs per $1m) and ultimately some 16,000 jobs (in addition to 17,000 from mining);
- Reduce our transport carbon footprint by 5 per cent (using ethanol);
- Reduce our dependence on imported oil by 20 per cent;
- Reduce our electricity carbon footprint by 2.5 per cent by producing electricity from sun and wind, but overwhelmingly from sugar cane fibre, and all of these electricity feedstock are for free;
- Produce reliable cheap electricity into the future and thus facilitate industry expansion (eg Townsville Zinc refinery);
- Revive our sugar industry. Using Brazil as an example (they have been building 20 mills/yr, whereas we have closed 6 mills in recent years and only have 20 odd mills left); and
- Revive the cattle industry by making available cheap, highly‐nutritional distiller’s grain (a by‐product of ethanol production)."
Mr Katter said the EIS approval demonstrated the State Government’s recognition of the project’s economic and employment potential, and followed the Federal Government’s commitment of millions of dollars to the project following last year’s ‘Hung Parliament’ election.
"To make this a reality the QLD government needs to provide acceptable market contracts for our electricity and a phased‐in 10 per cent ethanol mandating to take the Pentland and Ingham production – a very small challenge for a Premier who has rightly described the NACEC as a second Snowy Mountains scheme and maybe just a small mini Bradfield," he said.