Electricity transmission network operator Powerlink Queensland has announced that the north Queensland region will benefit from a A$50 million project to reinforce electricity supplies to the region.

Geoff Wilson, Australia’s minister for mines and energy, said that equipment that allows the high-voltage transmission system to deliver more power was installed at Powerlink’s Strathmore substation, inland from Bowen.

The equipment is especially important given the increase in electricity demand in north and far north Queensland in recent years, Mr Wilson said.

Gordon Jardine, CEO of Powerlink, said that the upgrade of Powerlink’s transmission network between central and north Queensland would be undertaken in three stages, with the final stage currently scheduled to be completed in 2010.

Mr Jardine said: When completed, the new infrastructure will increase the transmission capacity into north Queensland by about 40%, which is equivalent to around 400MW. This is sufficient to meet forecast increases in electricity demand well into the future.