Following the news yesterday on the final investment decision for the 250MW Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro) in Australia, developer Genex Power has announced that it has commenced an early works programme at the project.
The early works programme will ensure the site is ready for construction activity, which is now planned to commence in Q1 2021. The scope of early works relates to
Development of a new 275kV transmission line connecting the K2-Hydro project to the National Electricity Market (NEM);
Renovation of Oaks Rush Construction Camp which will provide accommodation during the construction of K2-Hydro;
Refurbishment of the Kidston Airstrip allowing the mobilisation of the workforce; and Upgrade of communication infrastructure.
Genex has entered into an Early Works Agreement with Powerlink in advance of executing a Connection & Access Agreement for the Project. Under this Agreement, Powerlink is undertaking a scope of early works on the development of a new 275kV transmission line connecting the K2-Hydro project to the NEM. Powerlink will build, own and operate the transmission line. The scope of early works from Powerlink includes the establishment of the project management processes, contractor engagement and transmission line design.
In preparation for the construction phase of the Project, Genex has commenced works associated with the Oaks Rush Construction Camp. These works include completing the refurbishment design of the Camp as well as securing all necessary building approvals required. The renovations will allow the Camp to be utilised as accommodation for up to 500 people during the construction phase and also serve as longer term accommodation during the operation phase of K2-Hydro.
§Airstrip was originally developed by Kidston Gold Mine to support the mine operations and has since been maintained by the Ethridge Shire Council. The Council have agreed to lease the Airstrip to Genex to operate in order to support the construction and transition to operation phase of K2-Hydro. The refurbishment works primarily consist of re-sealing of the Airstrip to allow for fly-in-fly-out services required to transport employees.
The final component of the early works programme is to upgrade the communication infrastructure at Kidston, owing to the remote location of the site. These works include identifying and securing microwave tower sites as well as construction access tracks to their locations. The new communication infrastructure will provide the communication signal strength required for the development and operations of the K2-Hydro project.