$49m substation upgrade to create 112 jobs for CQ
A VITAL $49 million upgrade to Bouldercombe's aging electricity substation has commenced, bringing 112 jobs to our region.
Since its construction in 1975, 19km southwest of Rockhampton, Bouldercombe's Substation has played a vital role supporting industrial and residential growth by supplying electricity to Rockhampton and the wider Central Queensland region.
Planned to be completed in stages to ensure the project was delivered with minimal customer impact, building work commenced on the susbstation earlier this month.
The four-year project will support 112 jobs to replace all of the substation's primary equipment including circuit breakers, structures and foundations.
In addition, a new transformer will be installed on site.
Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said the Bouldercombe substation was a critical transmission hub in the region, supplying Rockhampton and surrounding areas.
"The original substation plant is now reaching the end of its service life and requires replacement to ensure a reliable and secure supply of electricity to Central Queensland," Dr Lynham said.
The first stage is the new transformer installation, expected to be completed by late 2021.
Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke said the rebuild of Bouldercombe Substation was further proof of the Queensland Government's commitment to jobs and infrastructure for regional Queensland.
"This new substation will support many jobs during its construction and once complete will ensure continued reliability for our growing region's energy needs," Mr O'Rourke said.
Transformers are a significant piece of equipment in a substation that converts high voltage electricity from the transmission network down to a lower voltage suitable for Ergon Energy's distribution network, which in turn delivers electricity to households and businesses.
Powerlink interim chief executive Kevin Kehl said once the transformer installation was complete, the remaining work to replace the primary plant on site would start, followed by decommissioning and removal of the old equipment. This is expected to be completed by mid-2023.
"Our focus is on extending the life of the substation at the lowest long-run cost to customers, and with the least disruption to the local community," Mr Kehl said.
Queensland's publicly-owned electricity companies - Powerlink, Ergon, Energex, CS Energy, Stanwell Corp and CleanCo, will invest more than $2.2 billion on capital works in 2019-20, supporting up to 4900 jobs.
According to Powerlink's recently published Project Assessment Conclusions Report, Bouldercombe Substation is a major transmission node for Central Queensland, marshalling a number of 275kV circuits from Nebo and Broadsound to the north, Stanwell in the west and Raglan and Calliope River to the south.
It also provides the sole 132kV injection source for the area, supplying Ergon Energy at Rockhampton, Egans Hill and Pandoin, as well as Stanwell Power Station's auxiliary supply and customers directly connected to Powerlink's network.
The report said Transformers 1 and 2, along with the original circuit breakers, disconnectors, earth switches and instrument transformers at Bouldercombe Substation, were nearing the end of their technical service lives, with manufacturers no longer providing technical support or carrying spares for the items.