Queensland Hydro has officially opened the Expression of Interest (EOI) phase for the Underground Works – Tunnel Drilling package, marking a crucial milestone in the progress of the Borumba Pumped Hydro Project. This initiative invites contractors to express their interest in participating in the largest exploratory works package associated with the project.

The Underground Works – Tunnel Drilling package, deemed the most substantial package to date, is actively seeking interest from qualified contractors capable of designing and constructing an exploratory tunnel at the project site, situated near Imbil, southwest of Gympie.

The release of the EOI signifies the commencement of a new phase in the critical exploratory works program for the Borumba Project, slated to run from late 2023 to mid-2026. The overall project aims to achieve its first power production milestone in 2030.

This particular tunnel drilling package holds significance as it will play a pivotal role in collecting crucial geological, geotechnical, and hydrogeological data to validate the proposed location for the underground powerhouse and transformers caverns. If the Borumba Project progresses as planned, the temporary tunnel may be repurposed as one of the access tunnels required in the final project design.

Prospective proponents interested in submitting an Expression of Interest can do so via QTenders. The EOI, identified as "CONBUR0236EOI" on QTenders, can be accessed here.

The procurement process for the Underground Works – Tunnel Drilling package is structured in two phases:

  • In Phase 1, interested suppliers are encouraged to submit their EOIs through QTenders before December 4, 2023.
  • In Phase 2, eligible proponents identified during the EOI phase will be shortlisted, and successful candidates will be invited to submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) in February 2024.

The contract for the selected contractor is anticipated to be awarded in August 2024, with work scheduled to commence in November 2024. It is important to note that the exploratory tunnel drilling package will proceed only after Queensland Hydro secures all necessary environmental and planning approvals.

Queensland Hydro emphasizes collaboration with the industry to attract top-notch partners for the Borumba Project, concurrently creating opportunities for local and Indigenous businesses. The successful contractor will collaborate with Queensland Hydro to maximize these opportunities, particularly focusing on local and Indigenous-owned businesses and workers.

For those interested in staying updated on supplier opportunities, registering on ICN Gateway is recommended. During the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage, Queensland Hydro will adhere to best practice principles outlined in the Queensland Procurement Policy 2023. This includes a requirement for demonstrating commitments to local job creation, apprenticeship and training opportunities, and local procurement.