8 June, 2023 · 2 MIN READ

Local business successfully appointed for first Pioneer-Burdekin contracts

Queensland Hydro has awarded a Mackay-based business one of the first contracts for the Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro project.

Queensland Hydro has awarded a Mackay-based business one of the first contracts for Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro project.

Twin Hills Engineering and Drilling were successful in tendering for the geotechnical contract, which will form a key part of the exploratory stage for the project. The family business celebrates ten years of operation this year and has significant local capability and experience.

Founder and owner Stephen Burt, who runs two businesses with his wife Sharon, was delighted by the opportunity to keep it in the region.

“It’s great to get the chance to work on a local project and to prove that Mackay companies can match it with the southern drilling companies,” Stephen said.

“Twin Hills has great expertise and a strong local presence. We’ve over the moon about working with Queensland Hydro.”

Located west of Mackay in the Pioneer Valley, the proposed pumped hydro project will be one of the largest in the world, capable of producing 5,000MW of power. The six-month shallow drilling program awarded to Twin Hills will be used to inform project design, which is a fundamental part of the project’s Detailed Analytical Report. The report is due to be presented to the Queensland Government in 2024.

Director Craig Berry from the Water2Wire joint venture appearing in Mackay.

The announcement of the geotech contract comes hot on the heels of a second major project announcement: the appointment of the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) contractor.

Queensland-based Water2Wire, a joint venture partnership between GHDMott MacDonald and Stantec, were successfully appointed after a competitive tender process. Water2Wire also have an established local presence including an office in the Mackay region and strong relationships with subcontractors.

Together, they will bring significant professional engineering, hydropower expertise and capability to determine the technical specifications, schedule and cost parameters for the project. Their extensive experience includes delivering the award-winning 250MW Kidston PHES, plus large hydro projects in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Kieran Cusack addressing the media for the geotechnical and FEED announcements.

Queensland Hydro CEO Kieran Cusack said the recent appointments were an asset to the project.

“The proposed Pioneer-Burdekin scheme is a world-class project, so having world-class contractors working with us right from the outset is critical,” Kieran said.

“Both Twin Hills and Water2Wire had outstanding tender responses that showcased both their impressive capability and strong local links.”

The appointments follow the opening of the new Queensland Hydro office in Mackay, which was celebrated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday 2 June 2023. Attended by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Energy, Hydrogen and Renewables Mick de Brenni, the office cements Queensland Hydro’s commitment to building local capacity.

Find out more about the Pioneer-Burdekin project here.

Published 8 June 2023