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Genex Power has issued an update on the expected start date for construction of its 250MW Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project in North Queensland.

Financial close – previously tipped for this month – and the start of construction are now expected to occur early in the second quarter of this year.

Construction of the $800 million project is expected to create about 500 jobs in North Queensland over the next four years.

Genex Power said it had continued to progress the project financing workstreams toward conclusion.

However, following a period of significant activity with all stakeholders, it had become apparent that contractual close could now be expected to occur late this quarter.

“We have now reached a critical point where all due diligence has been largely completed and our construction, financing and operational documentation is in substantially agreed form,” chief executive officer James Harding said.

“As such, we are pleased that we have today secured the necessary extension from EnergyAustralia to align with our revised timeline for
contractual close this quarter, and commencement of construction early next quarter.

“We are thankful for the ongoing support of EnergyAustralia, and also our broader stakeholder group including the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, Queensland State Government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, for their continued support as we work toward financial close.”

Earlier this month the company announced a $147 million State Government pledge towards construction of a new 185.9km transmission line from the Kidston power hub to Mount Fox, and a new substation at Mount Fox.

That funding package represents a $15 million increase on the original $132 million the government agreed to provide towards construction of transmission infrastructure.

Genex has initiated early works contracts at the Kidston hydroelectric power site, with preparations including upgrading the airstrip to support regular flights from Townsville and boosting camp accommodation to cater for hundreds of workers.