One application requests a subdivision of land owned by Rio Tinto, which Transend wishes to buy to expand its George Town substation. The other application is for a permit to extend and redevelop the substation.

Stephen Clark, Transend’s general manager of connections and strategic development, said: George Town Substation is a crucial substation in Transend’s transmission system.

It’s the connection point for Basslink, and for major industrial customers in the region, including the smelters operated by Rio Tinto and Temco, he added.

The substation contains 110,000 volt (110kV) and 220kV switchyards, both of which now need redeveloping. Much of the equipment at the substation is more than 40 years old and is approaching the end of its operational life.

The redevelopment allows us to upgrade the switchgear to the contemporary standard, which improves the security and flexibility of the power system, Mr Clark said.