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Upgrade to ensure security of Pilbara power supplies

  • More than $23 million invested by the State Government to upgrade 132 kilovolt transmission line between Karratha and Dampier.
  • Two hundred old wooden poles will be removed and replaced with steel poles.

The future energy needs of the Pilbara are being met with the State Government’s $23.8 million investment for the upgrade of the Karratha to Dampier 132 kV transmission line.

The transmission line is a critical piece of electrical infrastructure in the Pilbara which connects the Karratha terminal sub-station to the Dampier sub-station.

The upgrade will reinforce the ageing infrastructure and ensure the security of supplies on the North West Interconnected System (NWIS) well into the future.

Work on the upgrade will begin early next year and commissioning of the upgraded equipment is due to be completed by the end of 2020, ahead of the 2020/21 cyclone season. Powerlines Plus is the primary contractor on the project and will employ 14 people from the Pilbara.

The upgrade will also help support the growing demand for energy by delivering robust foundation transmission infrastructure into the Burrup Strategic Industrial Area.

The work will consist of replacing 12 kilometres of the 13 kilometres of aged equipment on the existing 19 km transmission line. One kilometre of the line near the Karratha airport terminal will be undergrounded.

The new equipment will withstand cyclonic winds and will be more secure due to the latest design and technology.

Old wooden poles will be replaced by steel poles in a new configuration which means the number of poles will be reduced by 65 per cent, improving town aesthetics with the removal of more than 200 poles.

Horizon Power’s Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Unwin said the NWIS is critical to the supply of electricity in Karratha and Port Hedland and the Government’s investment would result in the continuation of secure supplies to the burgeoning mining and resource sectors.

“We are excited about supporting the growth Pilbara, particularly the Burrup, and playing our part by upgrading this transmission line and supporting the secure and efficient operation of the electricity system,” she said.

Read the Energy Minister’s full statement here.