The $14.2 billion Borumba pumped hydro energy project opens expression of interest (EOI) for the Underground Works package in Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
- A call for Expressions of Interest to begin underground tunnelling is underway.
- The latest underground works is the most significant package to be released to the market as part of the Borumba Exploratory Works program.
- Project set to inject tens of millions into regional economy, and deliver 2,000 jobs during construction
The Borumba pumped hydro energy project in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, being delivered by public energy company Queensland Hydro, has taken a critical step in delivering the key clean energy project, this week opening Expressions of Interest for underground works.
The EOI for Underground Works marks the first step in the most significant program to be delivered during the exploratory works phase of the project.
About Borumba Dam Pumped Hydro
The Borumba Dam Pumped Hydro project is estimated to cost $14.2 billion and is the biggest single investment in Queensland’s energy infrastructure in decades.
The project is a 2,000 megawatt (MW) pumped hydro energy storage facility at Lake Borumba, located near Imbil, 45 minutes southwest of Gympie.
The Borumba Pumped Hydro Project is a cornerstone of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan and will provide the long-duration energy storage needed for a reliable, renewable energy system. The project will deliver cleaner, reliable and affordable energy for all Queenslanders.
The project will accelerate the decarbonisation of Queensland’s energy system, providing the long-duration energy storage needed to achieve our renewable energy targets of 70% by 2032 and 80% by 2035. At peak construction, the project will also deliver an estimated 2,300 jobs and economic opportunities for Queensland businesses.
The package will involve 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.
“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,” says Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni.
“Pumped Hydro offers a trifecta of opportunity by driving sustainable economic growth, bringing wealth and equality to more communities, and combating climate change,” says Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni.
“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,” says Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni.
“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,” says Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni.
“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,” says Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni.
This tunnelling will complement surface geological investigations, which together will provide a detailed understanding of ground conditions to inform the detailed design of the project and how it is best delivered.
“Queensland Hydro is pleased to release this EOI to the market. We’re excited about this release because it’s the first major package of works since we launched our industry engagement program in July, with three industry events held in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gympie,” says Queensland Hydro CEO Kieran Cusack.
“Attendees came from a broad range of industries including contractors, local suppliers, service suppliers, consultants, equipment suppliers and potential industry partners,” says Queensland Hydro CEO Kieran Cusack.
“We’ve been working with industry to ensure we attract the best partners for the project while creating opportunities for local industry involvement,” says Queensland Hydro CEO Kieran Cusack.
“Queensland Hydro will work with the successful contractor to maximise opportunities for local and Indigenous businesses and workers to be prepared for, and access opportunities on the exploratory works program,” says Queensland Hydro CEO Kieran Cusack.
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 the excess wind and solar generated in the states south east to keep the lights on for up to 2 million 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.
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