Interim CEO Chris Evans presents to Mackay business community
3 April, 2023 · 2 MIN READ

Regional economic opportunities highlighted at Mackay business community lunch

Pioneer-Burdekin pumped hydro project set to deliver millions of dollars into the Mackay region in 2023.

Queensland Hydro were delighted to present an update on their two pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) projects to Mackay’s business community at a recent Queensland Energy Club luncheon, held at the Mackay Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Interim CEO Chris Evans provided a detailed insight into the importance of long duration pumped hydro storage in Queensland, a critical component of the Queensland Government’s clean energy economy vision. Read more about the QEJP here.

An audience of around 120 gathered for the lunch, covering broad sectors of the Mackay region business community. Representatives included energy, resources, banking and insurance, engineering, tourism and accommodation and support services – highlighting the breadth of opportunity for economic growth.

Queensland Hydro has been tasked with delivering two-world class projects: the Borumba PHES Project (near Gympie) and the Pioneer-Burdekin PHES Project. Once built, the transformational projects will be two of the largest pumped hydro facilities globally.

Chris outlined how Queensland Hydro’s projects – which are forecast to produce a combined 7000MW of power – will be a key contributor to a stable and reliable clean energy system.

Forecast modelling of electricity supply for 2035, once the Pioneer-Burdekin PHES and Borumba PHES projects are operational, show that both facilities will provide critical power supply during periods where solar is not feeding into the grid.

Included in the presentation was a video of the Limmern pumped hydro station in Switzerland. At 1000MW, the facility is one-fifth of the size of the proposed Pioneer-Burdekin PHES scheme. The video, which showed how the Swiss project was constructed and operates, conveys the size and scale of major pumped hydro projects such as those proposed by Queensland Hydro.

Chris also provided an overview of the main project costs and risk drivers as well as a timeline of the two projects, with the Borumba PHES Detailed Analytical Report provided to the Queensland Government on 31 March 2023.

There was constructive conversation from the Mackay business community on topics important to Queensland Hydro, including consultation with impacted landowners, significant workforce opportunities and environmental approvals.

Queensland Hydro remains committed to positively engaging with project stakeholders, having held several stakeholder reference group meetings in recent weeks.

Published 3 April 2023