SMEC has been engaged by Townsville Enterprise Limited (TEL) to lead the feasibility study for the dam and irrigation scheme in the Upper Burdekin catchment. The firm will lead a team of local businesses to complete the feasibility study into the one million mega litre dam and 100,000 hectare irrigation scheme. The 12-month study will determine the dam’s engineering, environmental and economic feasibility.
The Hells Gate Dam project has been in discussion since 1938 and has been the subject of a number of investigations ifrom the 1970s through to 2014.
The new contract will produce the first fully investigated feasibility into the dam and irrigation scheme, and is a precursor to attracting investment for the construction of a multi-billion-dollar project over the coming 10 years.
The project would double the irrigated agriculture capacity of Northern Australia, and has attracted funding from the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.
SMEC regional manager Graeme Pollock said the company was proud to be leading a consortium of local businesses. “We have specifically partnered with leading local businesses to not only achieve the project objectives but provide high level expertise in areas such as cropping analysis, water resource modelling, environmental assessments and economic analysis which will be key to achieving the project,” he said.
Project scope of work includes: water resource and cropping assessments; agronomy and field studies on soil conditions; concept engineering of Hells Gate Dam, Big Rocks Weir, irrigation infrastructure, power supply, road and associated infrastructure and water delivery to the City of Townsville; ecology and environmental assessment; stakeholder relations; and economic assessments.