Basin water projects opening the door for mining development

14 Feb 2011

More than $1.6 billion worth of SunWater infrastructure developments planned to be constructed throughout the Bowen and Galilee basins over the next four years have the potential to deliver significant benefits to Bowen and Collinsville.

Members of the Bowen Collinsville Enterprise (BCE) were this week provided with a detailed update on the large-scale water projects currently being progressed by SunWater.

SunWater Business Development Manager Garry Grant said strategic water infrastructure projects such as the Connors River Dam and Moranbah Pipeline, Moranbah to Alpha Pipeline and a number of water pipeline spurs in the Collinsville and Moranbah region were designed to deliver additional water supplies to mines so they could achieve their full development potential.

Mr Grant told BCE members that the water projects would not only deliver increased water supply to mines but also provide an economic flow on effect to towns such as Bowen and Collinsville.

“These positive flow on effects for towns like Bowen and Collinsville, will largely result from increased mining expansion in nearby basins that our strategic water supply projects are specifically designed to support and the subsequent development of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal,” said Mr Grant.

“While much of this water infrastructure is a considerable distance away from Bowen and Collinsville, our water projects, along with complementary rail and power infrastructure projects, will contribute to the opening up of the Galilee basin doorway for new mining developments to transport coal to Abbot Point.

“Without secure and reliable water supplies, large scale mining development and expansion becomes stymied, which is why SunWater and other organisations such as QR National and Ergon, are working in concert to ensure rail, power and water supplies are in place so mining companies can take advantage of the growing demand for coal,” he said.

Mr Grant said most of SunWater’s key water infrastructure projects in both basins were now in advanced stages and construction of projects would come on line within the next two years, once all approvals are granted.

“As a commercially-focused entity, SunWater’s projects need to be financially viable to reach these advanced stages, so I am confident we will see extensive progress ramping up over the coming months,” he said.

Mr Grant said SunWater’s portfolio of new water infrastructure projects were part of the organisation’s overarching three-staged strategy to drought proof the northern basins to enable it to be opened up for further development.

“We have already delivered the Gattonvale Offstream Storage outside of Collinsville and the Burdekin to Moranbah Pipeline, and these new projects soon to come on line will complete our vision to ensure water supply security for the northern basins,” he said.

Mr Grant said the main beneficial spin offs for towns like Bowen and Collinsville would come through the local industry policies that most development organisations have in place.

“These types of local industry policies ensure local companies have the opportunity to tender for these major projects which ultimately leads to increased employment prospects and economic stimulus,” he said.

During the presentation Mr Grant also updated BCE members on the status of the Water for Bowen project.

Mr Grant said SunWater recently advised Foundation Customers that the project was currently being reconfigured for further consideration of Foundation Customers because the project’s original configuration was deemed financially unviable.

“SunWater is now investigating a range of different water transport capacities and water pricing models to gauge whether the project can proceed as a stand alone, commercially sound water project. We will be finalizing our considerations in a report in the coming months,” he said.

Mr Grant said further information on all of SunWater’s water infrastructure projects can be found at


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