Genex Power pushing ahead at Kidston
Truflo Pumping Systems has set up two diesel dewatering pumps for the job, which will pave the way to build tunnels between the Eldridge and Wises pits that remain from the former Kidston gold operation.
These will act as the upper and lower reservoirs for the 250MW/ 2000MWh pumped storage hydro project, expected to be completed by 2024.
Genex chief operations officer Arran McGhie said geotechnical sampling of on-site aggregate materials for the production of concrete, shotcrete and road base was also among the early works being completed.
“We’ll largely use the existing waste rock material that’s on site from the original mining days,” he said.
Mr McGhie said Queensland-based charter company AVMIN had been carrying out work to upgrade the site’s airstrip and gain CASA certification.
He expects to see regular charter flights using that strip by the end of June to transport workers to and from the site.
Queensland-based MarchNet is upgrading communications infrastructure to prepare for the major construction effort.
“We’re installing an Optus mobile phone tower out there for coverage across the sites,” Mr McGhie said.
“And then high-speed, high-volume internet services by way of a microwave back to the coastline to Mount Fox.”
Work is also underway to upgrade work camp facilities, including through the relocation of more than 400 workforce accommodation rooms from Merinda outside Bowen.
A joint venture of McConnell Dowell and John Holland Group has the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the project.
The EPC scope includes dam construction, underground and waterway civil works and the full powerhouse fit-out, including supply and installation of all electromechanical equipment.
Mr McGhie said the joint venture would run road shows in regional areas including Townsville, Cairns and the Tablelands to inform local communities about work opportunities.
Job numbers were expected to ramp up over the next six to 12 months and peak around the second half of next year, he said.
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