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Lucrative contracts on offer for local businesses with geotechnical services

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The group behind a massive hydro energy project inland from the Sunshine Coast has released two requests for tenders.

Queensland Hydro has RFTs for its Borumba Pumped Hydro Project, including a geotechnical drilling package and a geotechnical technical services and management support package.

These packages form a significant part of the project’s exploratory works program, enabling Queensland Hydro to better understand the surface geotechnical and groundwater conditions within the project footprint.

Project director Leah McKenzie said it was a new and exciting phase.

“These new packages of works for geotechnical drilling and geotechnical technical services management are a major step forward in the exploratory works program for Queensland Hydro’s Borumba Project,” she said.

Ms McKenzie said millions of dollars and two years’ work were up for grabs for local businesses, given the number of drilling contractors in the Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Wide Bay region with geotechnical drilling capability.

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She said there was three types of drilling required – shallow drilling (up to 200m), deep drilling (200m-plus) and groundwater monitoring (up to 30m).

“The second package is for a suitably qualified contractor to provide technical services management support for the geotechnical drilling investigations,” she said.

“This will include coordinating the geotechnical drilling contractors, and managing the storage facility and lab work for core samples.”

Project director Leah McKenzie.

Ms McKenzie said the project was crucial for the state’s future.

“As one of Queensland Hydro’s two proposed pumped hydro projects, the Borumba project is a cornerstone of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan with pumped hydro energy storage an essential part of the renewable energy transition, offering reliable, long-term storage and ensuring energy stability,” she said.

“Pumped hydro has a proven global track record and is key to achieving Queensland’s renewable energy targets.

“It provides advanced clean energy generation and clean energy storage sized for our growing state.

“The shift to renewable energy is now a ‘must-do’, not a ‘might-do’.”

Related story: Accommodation solutions sought for mega hydro project

Ms McKenzie said Queensland Hydro was moving forward on tenders now, given the time it takes to assess them and award contracts, but stressed that no work would commence until necessary environmental approvals were in place.

“Queensland Hydro takes its environmental responsibility seriously and is working with relevant government agencies on the environmental and planning approvals process,” she said.

“No drilling will proceed until we have received all necessary approvals from the relevant agencies.”

Both tenders close in February with contracts to be awarded by the end of June.

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