$63m contract awarded for Mount Isa power station

Another gas-fired power station is to be built in north-west Queensland, with hundreds of jobs expected to be created.

APA Group and AGL Energy have announced a $63 million contract for the construction of the Leichhardt power station, south of Mount Isa.

It will provide up to 60 megawatts of back-up generation capacity for the Diamantina power station.

That facility is currently under construction at Mica Creek and will provide power for Xstrata and Ergon Energy from 2014.

Spokesman Stephen Ohl says both facilities are a massive investment and show confidence in the region.

He says some of the contractors working on the facility will be local, as well as some coming in from other areas.

"The total investment is over $600 million," he said.

"During the construction, we expect the workforce to peak at something around 300 people." He says a gas-fired, combined cycle power station is extremely efficient.

"A lot more greenhouse friendly than coal-fired power on the east coast being transported by cables into the region and even more efficient than the existing gas-fired power station in Mount Isa," he said.

"There is always the prospect of additional users as mining develops in the region." Mr Ohl says Leighton Contractors has been awarded the contract for the Leichhardt facility.

"The customers are Xstrata and Ergon Energy.

Ergon Energy obviously supplies all the electricity to the local community in the region," he said.

"We are in the process of obtaining approvals for the Leichhardt power station.

"We expect to have those approvals by the end of this year and construction is due to start early to mid-2013."

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