27/01/2012 - 15:52

Western Power's Mid West plan gets ERA tick

27/01/2012 - 15:52

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The state economic regulator has given its nod of approval for Western Power’s near $380 million electricity transmission infrastructure proposal, designed to support new mining and renewable energy projects in the Mid West.

Western Power managing director Doug Aberle said clearing the regulatory hurdle with the Economic Regulation Authority confirmed the benefits of the project outweighed the $378.9 million first stage cost.

The ERA gave its approval for the first stage today, which will see transmission lines contructed to link Neerabup with Three Springs.

Gindalbie Metals’ Karara iron ore development is understood to be the first mine in line to be connected to the project, which will be delivered in two stages.

The second stage, to connect from Three Springs to Geraldton, is currently the subject of a project proposal being developed by Western Power over the next 12 months.

“The Authority has determined that the economic benefits of this large project are significantly greater than the project cost,” Mr Aberle said.

“The flow on benefits to the broader Mid West region could be substantially larger.”

“We are particularly pleased that by working closely with the ERA and our stakeholders to address some quite complex issues, that a positive outcome has been achieved.”

The first stage of the project is due for completion in the first quarter of 2014.

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