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Genex Power has pinned down construction pricing and secured a further extension for its NAIF loan offer as it steams towards financial close for the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project.

Genex chief executive officer James Harding said the company was focused on starting construction in the coming months – creating an estimated 500 jobs in North Queensland over the next four years.

The 250MW energy project, being built at the old Kidston gold mine site, has a total construction pricing of about $600 million.

In an update this week, Genex said it had finalised terms with its core contractors, who include:
  • Engineering, procurement and construction – a joint venture of McConnell Dowel Constructors and John Holland,
  • Electromechanical equipment subcontractor – ANDRITZ Hydro GmbH,
  • Connection assets infrastructure – Beon Energy Solutions,
  • Construction camp operator – ISS Facility Services Australia, and
  • Owner’s engineer – Hydro-electric Corporation, trading as Entura.

The $600 million construction pricing excludes transmission costs, financing costs and Genex’s development costs to date.

Genex has confirmed that the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has extended its offer to September 30 for long-term concessional loan funding of $610 million for the project.

The company said it was continuing intensive negotiations to finalise financing for the project and was targeting financial close within the next three months.

“Since the signing of the binding Energy Storage Services Agreement with EnergyAustralia in March 2020, the Genex team has been extremely busy in reconfirming arrangements with its other project stakeholders,” Mr Harding said.

“With the extension of the NAIF offer for funding, confirmed terms with key contractors and revised Offer to Connect, we remain on track to close out the financing activities within our timeline, subject to financing arrangements with the Queensland Goverment for co-funding of the transmission line.

“Kidston is a critical project for Queensland and Australia – it will be the first pumped storage hydro project in the NEM in almost 40 years, will deliver 500 direct construction jobs over the next four years and will provide much-needed synchronous firming capacity to the North Queensland power network and by providing this support will immediately unlock additional renewable electricity generation projects in North Queensland.

“We remain focused on delivering the financing such that we can commence construction in the coming months.”

The Queensland Government last year announced a funding package of up to $132 million for construction of an 185km transmission line from Kidston to Mount Fox, and Genex said it was continuing crucial negotiations over the terms of that co-funding.