Queensland Hydro has opened the first round of work packages for the highly anticipated $14 billion Borumba pumped hydro mega project. The project's initial phase includes nine work packages covering underground works, geotechnical investigations, drilling, civil and construction, temporary accommodation, and site services. Concurrently, important geotechnical investigation works began on July 10, marking a significant milestone since the Queensland Government's funding investment decision for the project. This field work represents the first major undertaking since the project received government backing.

The company recently organized industry briefings to generate interest in the work packages, and the response has been highly positive. The briefings, held in Brisbane, Caloundra, and Gympie, attracted a combined total of over 750 attendees, with almost 450 people present in person and the rest participating online. Participants had the opportunity to hear directly from Queensland Hydro CEO Kieran Cusack and other senior members of the company's team. Mr. Cusack expressed his enthusiasm for launching these work packages and partnering with capable contractors and suppliers to deliver a world-class asset.

The Borumba Pumped Hydro project aims to contribute to the transformation of Queensland's energy system by providing clean, secure, and reliable energy. It is a 2000MW pumped storage facility located near Imbil, close to Lake Borumba. The project is expected to create around 2000 jobs during its development, offering significant employment opportunities for Queenslanders.

Cusack emphasized Queensland Hydro's commitment to engaging with local communities and project stakeholders: “Queensland Hydro wants our Borumba Pumped Hydro Project to be a project of choice for Queensland businesses and workers. I’m thrilled to be able to launch these work packages and to partner with strong, capable contractors and suppliers to deliver a world-class asset.”

In addition to the work packages, the project will undergo an environmental impact assessment process, which is scheduled to commence in the second half of 2023. This process will tevaluate the project's environmental, social, and economic impacts and identify measures to avoid, mitigate, and offset potential issues. Importantly, the community will have an opportunity to provide input during the assessment process, ensuring their voices are heard.

The geotechnical investigation work, scheduled from July to November 2023, will take place around Borumba Dam. The purpose of these investigations is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the ground and groundwater conditions in the area. The data collected will contribute to the environmental assessment for project.

Cusack confirmed that the necessary authorizations for geotechnical drilling have been obtained, and the company has engaged with both the State and Federal governments regarding environmental and planning permits for this work. The geotechnical investigations are separate from the project's current Federal Government referral for exploratory works, which are expected to commence later in 2023.

The geotechnical work will involve a small crew utilizing drilling rigs, excavators, handheld equipment, backhoes, and trucks. Activities will include drilling and backfilling small boreholes, non-intrusive survey work, and the installation of water monitoring bores. The crew will spend approximately two weeks at each borehole site, with the duration varying based on ground conditions. 

Businesses interested in participating in this significant project can register their interest by visiting QLDHydro.icn.org.au. Queensland Hydro aims to deliver the first power from the Borumba Pumped Hydro project to Queenslanders by 2030, supporting the state's transition to renewable energy.