The $2.2 million Federal Government funded Hells Gates Dam Feasibility Study confirmed the viability of the project and highlighted the potential for a pumped hydro electricity plant that could generate up to 1200MW of clean, low-cost, dispatchable energy.
The study confirmed the viability of the $5.35 billion irrigated agricultural and power project on the upper Burdekin River in Queensland, following its review by State and Federal Governments.
The 12-month study, led by SMEC and project managed by Townsville Enterprise, found that construction of a large dam on the upper Burdekin at the Hells Gates site was technically and economically feasible, with no major environmental barriers.
The findings said that the project has the potential to redefine Northern Queensland’s agriculture sector and underpin long-term export market growth and investment.
Townsville Enterprise has acknowledged that Hells Gates is a long-term vision to develop Northern Australia, and that it is not relevant to Townsville’s current water security plans, as this is predominantly an agricultural and power project.
For a project worth over $5 billion, the next step is a detailed business case. Townsville Enterprise said it will be working with all levels of government towards securing a commitment towards the $25 million business case to progress this national building project.
The dam has the potential to be one of the largest dams in Australia’s history and could transform the nature of its economy.