News from Mick

North Queensland businesses on board with major energy project

April 01, 2022

The Palaszczuk Government is inviting North Queensland businesses to local information sessions in early April, so they can be part of the effort to connect Genex’s Clean Energy Hub to the state’s electricity grid. 

The Genex Kidston Connection Project includes 186 kilometres of new transmission line to safely transport renewable energy generated at the combination solar and pumped storage hydro facility.

Publicly-owned Powerlink’s next round of local supplier information sessions in Charters Towers, Ingham and Townsville would further showcase opportunities for local businesses to get involved.

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the project was further proof of the Palaszczuk Government’s investment in more jobs and more industry.

“Our Buy Queensland procurement approach means engaging North Queensland businesses and sourcing local materials wherever possible is a key focus for this flagship renewable energy connection project,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Powerlink has already partnered with eight local suppliers based in Ingham, Charters Towers, Townsville and Cairns to deliver contracts valued at nearly $500,000, supporting 29 local jobs. This includes activities to progress initial pre-construction work at Mount Fox to accommodate a new switching station. 

“This preliminary on-ground work has seen 7,000 tonnes of road material and 15 metres of concrete culverts used to build 1.6 kilometres of new road. Local crews also installed 4.5 kilometres of fencing to safely secure the site.

“We remain committed to supporting local communities, industry and jobs growth to maximise the broader benefits of delivering on our 50% renewables target by 2030.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper encouraged local businesses to get involved.

“Projects like this are great for the Townsville economy and we are making sure local businesses and workers benefit,” Mr Harper said.

Keita Services Managing Director Keith Phillips said his family business in Ingham specialising in excavation, earthworks and engineering services had been operating for more than 25 years in North Queensland and was proud to play a role in the Genex Kidston Connection Project.

“For several months we’ve had around nine local staff on-site delivering the Knuckledown Road upgrade works at Mount Fox, responsible for laying the gravel and installing signage, culverts and cattle grids,” Mr Phillips said.

“We employ Ingham locals and always try to work with other local businesses through our supply network, so the positive flow-on effects from projects like this in our community are very real.”

Powerlink Chief Executive Paul Simshauser said he was delighted local businesses had been an instrumental part of delivering preliminary on-ground works for the project.

“Other local suppliers involved at Mount Fox included Milray Contracting in Charters Towers who provided gravel materials and three Ingham-based businesses who completed vegetation management and fencing work – Ingham Agencies, MJ Bartolini Fencing and Long Pocket Earthmoving,” Mr Simshauser said. 

“With full construction works expected to begin by mid-2022, we have been speaking with local businesses for many months about how they can potentially get involved. We look forward to meeting with more North Queensland businesses at our next round of information sessions.

“We hope to award more local contract packages in the near future to harness the expertise and capabilities of North Queenslanders to deliver this monumental project.”

UGL’s Managing Director Doug Moss said UGL was looking forward to speaking with local businesses about the opportunities available to them.

“These information sessions are an opportunity for us to get to know the local businesses in the region and for them to get to know us. UGL has a strong history of working with local suppliers in regional Australia and we look forward to continuing that tradition on the Genex Kidston Connection Project, which is an exciting project for us, and the people of North Queensland,” Mr Moss said.

“We’ll provide information and advice about the types of contracts we’ll be looking to award, and we’ll help potential suppliers and vendors in preparing for the tender process.” 

Local businesses are invited to drop-in and meet Powerlink and UGL representatives at the following information sessions:






Monday 4 April

Charters Towers

Dalrymple Trade Training Centre

1-13 Macpherson St, Columbia

3.30pm to 5.30pm

Tuesday 5 April


TYTO Conference and Events Centre 73-75 McIlwraith St, Ingham

12.30pm to 2.30pm

Wednesday 6 April


Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville

334 Flinders St, Townsville

9am to 11.30am