What Qld’s next pipeline means for the energy sector

queensland pipeline, fitzroy,

The Queensland Government has carved out almost $1 billion for the Fitzroy to Gladstone water pipeline. But what will the project mean for the state?

The latest Queensland Budget allocates $311.1 million for the construction of the Fitzroy to Gladstone pipeline, which is expected to enhance water security and support renewable energy initiatives across the state. The 2024–2025 Budget forms part of the government’s larger $983 million funding commitment, announced in 2023.

The 117km pipeline will transfer 30 gigalitres of water every year from the Lower Fitzroy River to the Gladstone Area Water Board’s existing network in Yarwun.

The Central Queensland pipeline will help support Gladstone’s growing industrial sector, which generates $6 billion in gross regional product every year and requires significant quantities of water to operate.

Indeed, the area is a hotspot for future energy projects such as Fortescue’s hydrogen electrolyser manufacturing facility, Stanwell and Iwatani’s hydrogen project, Mitsubishi Gas’ proposed hydrogen to green methanol plant, Orica and H2U’s proposed green ammonia plant, and Rio Tinto and Sumitomo’s planned hydrogen plant.

Consequently, the pipeline is expected to become the engine room in the state’s energy aspirations.

The project will include the construction of an in-intake structure and pumping station at Laurel Bank, a water treatment plant, reservoir and pumping station at Alton Downs, and additional reservoirs at Aldoga. Construction is expected to generate at least 400 local jobs, with the potential for many more as energy projects develop.

The pipeline is expected to be completed in 2026.

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