Another "Green" hit on the pocket of the Australian taxpayer
If the project below were commercially viable, it would not need government funding.
And the route makes no sense. Why send power underwater to Weipa? A route via Thursday Island and Cape York would require only a small fraction of the underwater cabling needed to send it to Weipa. And Weipa is a very small town unlikely to use much of the power itself. Weipa does of course have bauxite so the proposal might make some sense if an alumina smelter were envisaged there -- but you would hear Greenie shrieks from all sides if that were proposed
I guess an overland route via Cape York would involve more Aboriginal "land rights" issues but it would also allow the many towns -- including the city of Cairns -- between Cooktown and Townsville to be supplied. So this whole thing just reeks of crazy Leftist politics
Greenies hate dams anyway so that will probably knock the whole idea on the head
A massive hydro-electric plant in Papua New Guinea will supply power to Townsville via an underwater cable under a multi-billion dollar plan announced this morning. The plant would provide about three times the baseload power of a coal-fired power station.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh told parliament Origin Energy and PNG Energy Developments would sign a memorandum of understanding to work toward the green-energy project, which could connect to the north Queensland city by 2020.
The project would use a “running” dam of the Purari River in Papua New Guinea's highlands to generate electricity before transferring it through a pipeline and into the Australian national electricity grid.
Ms Bligh likened the project to the 1940s Snowy River Scheme. “This project would mean our vision for stronger, greener Queensland could take a giant leap forward,” she said. “This proposal could generate 1800MW of renewable baseload electricity travelling via undersea cable to Weipa and could potentially plug directly into Townsville as early as 2020.”
The Queensland government has yet to contribute funding for the project, which has been studied by Origin for two years. A feasibility study, including environmental, sociological and engineering, is expected to be finalised in 2012.
PNG would be able to use the additional baseload power to compete for industrial projects in their resource-rich country. “This project would provide PNG with a reliable source of power for villages and rural communities and transform the economic development prospects of western Papua New Guinea,” Ms Bligh said. “It is clear that this is an idea of national and international significance.
“Like any large project there are many hurdles and requirements to be met and many questions to be answered before it becomes a reality but this is a first step toward making Queensland the renewable energy star of Australia.”
The Queensland government will assist to identify the pipeline corridor and land tenure issues.