Diamantina Power Station: set to deliver a competitive and reliable energy supply for Queensland

An aerial view of the Diamantina Power Station site.

An aerial view of the Diamantina Power Station site.

Construction of Queensland’s Diamantina Power Station is now in full swing and is expected to be commissioned in 2014. The Australian Pipeliner spoke to one of the project’s proponents, APA Group, about how the project was conceived and what has been involved in the construction process.

The $500 million Diamantina Power Station will be a 242 MW combined-cycle gas-fired power station, located in Mount Isa, Queensland. The station will be set out in a configuration of two 121 MW power blocks, with the first block expected to be available in early 2014.

The project was conceived in 2010, when Mount Isa’s major electricity customers expressed concern about future services and was developed over the course of more than twelve months of behind-the-scenes strategic planning and activity. The aim of the project is to provide secure, long-term and cost-effective power supply to local mines operated by Xstrata and communities in the region, with scope for further expansion in line with energy demand increases.

In April 2012, APA received final development approval from the Mount Isa City Council and construction commenced onsite the same month. The power station is being delivered by CTEC under a construction contract covering the engineering procurement and construction of the power station.

Other contractors include Siemens (turbine supplier), Norfolk Group (electrical and instrumentation works) and KBR (project management services).

Gas for the power station is to be supplied via the Carpentaria Gas Pipeline which is 840 km in length, 324 mm in diameter and spans from Ballera to Mt Isa. The pipeline will supply gas for the life of the station, which is expected to be at least 25 years, thereby underpinning secure gas and electricity supplies to the people of Mt Isa.

In addition, a 400 m gas lateral will connect the power station with the existing Mica Creek Gas Gate Station, which sits adjacent to the Diamantina Power Station. Contractors are yet to be commissioned for pipeline-related works on the project. It will be commissioned in early 2013.

In May 2012, APA Group outlined growth for the station, stating that it had become a cost- and energy-efficient development and the company had secured future value through the development via a long-term electricity supply agreement with Xstrata and Ergon Energy.

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