Genex Power Limited has selected a Joint Venture between McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd (and Downer EDI Limited as Preferred EPC Contractor for its 250MW Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro project in North Queensland, with consultants Norconsult and GHD Australia as technical advisers to the JV.

In a statement, Genex said that the JV was selected following engagement with a number of leading EPC contractors. It said that McConnell Dowell has an extensive global EPC track record in respect of hydro projects, especially those involving tunnelling and underground excavation, including the most recent major hydro power development in Australia and other remote hydro projects in the Asia Pacific region.

Downer was selected as the JV partner on the basis of its strong balance sheet and complementary strengths in mechanical/electrical/civil engineering and grid connection, and operations and maintenance capabilities, Genex added.

Genex will now work with the Preferred EPC Contractor as part of the early contractor involvement (ECI) process (announced on 20 October 2017) to complete final design optimisation and the full EPC and O&M contracting process for the hydro project. This will include a competitive tender process to secure the electro-mechanical equipment package (including Francis reversible pump /generator turbine machines), which will be held in November 2017 with invitations extended to a number of Tier 1 hydro turbine suppliers.

Genex has determined that an ECI process is the most appropriate means to ensure the timely development of the K2 project while minimising costs associated with a full EPC tender process.

“The McConnell Dowell / Downer JV is a very strong partner to deliver the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project,” commented Genex Managing Director Michael Addison. “As a combined force, the JV has a complementary skill set and a long track record of delivering hydro projects around the world, a strong balance sheet and proven project delivery capabilities – factors which are likely to materially contribute to the bankability and successful implementation of the project.”

The Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has continued to support the Kidston hydro project. To date, Genex has drawn down a total of approximately $2.85 million of its $4 million ARENA funding facility in relation to the project.

On Friday, Genex announced it has optimized the design of the 250MW Kidston Stage 2 (K2) pumped storage project to increase its storage capacity by 25%, and will adopt more efficient speed turbines to meet the needs of its energy offtake partner and meet the demands of future energy markets. The new design will replace the ‘Turkey’s Nest’ design suggested in the project’s original technical feasibility study (TFS).