Jump to Content
Adjust font size:
small fonts normal fonts large fonts largest fonts

Regional Economic Information and Updates

The following regional economic information and updates are provided to inform you of what is happening in the Far North region.  All information is current at time of publishing.  Regional Development Australia Far North accepts no responsibility for any incorrect or misleading information.


Far North Region Economic Development Update - January 2018

Port Augusta City Council Region

  • Port Augusta Prison - $57.2m - in advanced construction stage with gatehouse entrances and Saltbush Unit complete.  Project includes 128-bed upgrade with inclusion of new gatehouse entrances and prison industry facilities.  After refurbishment the prison will hold up to 600 prisoners. Currently employs approximately 400 people.

Port Augusta City Council and Mount Remarkable Council Region

  • DP Energy - Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park - $680m - funded and underway.  This is a unique hybrid renewable energy development integrating wind and solar PV technology with a total installed capacity of up to 375MW, including up to 206.5MW of wind generation capacity on land situated on the coastal plain south-east of Port Augusta.  DP Energy recently completed tender call for works for Stage 1.  Mid-April 2017 saw the announcement of Stage 2 for the project which includes a significant additional solar panel component, generating up to 500MW and a battery storage element of around 400MW capacity.   Stage 2 was submitted to the Development Assessment Commission in July 2017.  Both stages combined will create over 600 jobs during construction and 15 ongoing maintenance jobs.  For more information: http://www.dpenergy.com./hybrid/port-augusta-renewable-energy-park/ 

Port Augusta City Council and Outback Communities Authority Region

  •  Reach Solar Energy - Bungala One ($450m) and Two - funded and underway.  Approval received December 2016 for 2 x 110MW tilting solar facility.  The utility scale power plan will be the largest in Australia, and the 13th largest in the world with around 900,000 solar panels.  It is designed to support the grid and will be energy storage ready for retro-fit in the future.  Long term off take has been secured, capital for phase one raised, with no Government funding needed for project viability.  Work is expected to be completed by early Quarter 4 2018.  Around 350 people will be required during construction and the project will provide material direct and indirect benefits to the community local to Port Augusta with 10 ongoing jobs.  For more information: http://www.reachsolarenergy.com.au/bungala.html 
  • Cultana Defence Facility - Expansion of Cultana training facilities - $84.5m - underway.  Three projects have been developed to provide facilities and infrastructure on the Cultana Training Area (inclusive of the Cultana Expansion Area).  These are: 1. Hardened and Networked Army environmental vehicle wash point, 2. Enhanced land force stage 2 range facilities and infrastructure including an explosive ordinance storage and distribution facility, and 2. Major capital facilities program including range facilities and infrastructure.  Tender for stage one are being assessed, stage two is in the early planning stage and still required Government approval and stage three is yet to be approved by Government.  St Hilliers have been appointed as the head contractor with local contractors and businesses linking in with the project through them, via direct emails or advertising opportunities in the local paper. For more information: http://www.rdawep.org.au/st-hilliers-cultana-redevelopment-eoi/ 
  • Multispecies Livestock Transshipping Hub (Spelling Yards). RDAFN has partnered with the Outback Communities Authority to engage a consultant (Local People Local Solutions) to prepare a business case to look at the feasibility, location, funding options etc for the project. The consultant is currently undertaking an extensive stakeholder engagement and information gathering process. Due for completion in December 2017. The report will be made publicly available.

The Flinders Ranges Council and Outback Communities Authority Region

Roxby Downs Council Region

  • BHP Billiton - Olympic Dam Capital Investment - $600m.  Three key areas with around 20% of the investment supporting the underground expansion into the high-grade Southern Mine Area including additional fleet, telecommunications, raising bores, power and other services.  Nearly 40% will underpin further underground development in the existing Northern Mine Area footprint and more than 40% is directed to a wide range of infrastructure and other programs onsite, including the major smelter campaign which is a $350m construction program spread across 2017/18 - 2018/19.  BHPB are also undertaking a Local Buying Program with a focus on businesses in the Council areas of Roxby Downs, Port Augusta, Whyalla, Port Pirie and Mt Remarkable.  For more information on the Local Buying Program: https://c-res.com.au/ 

Outback Communities Authority Region

  • Strzelecki Track. RDAFN has partnered with The Flinders Ranges Council and the Outback Communities Authority to engage a consultant (SC Lennon & Associates P/L) to undertake a feasibility study/business case/economic benefit analysis for the sealing of the Strzelecki Track.  Previous work has been undertaken on this project with a positive cost benefit ratio, however, it only focuses on the mineral and resources sector. This project will broaden the scope of work already undertaken to include aspects such as tourism, community, emergency services, economic opportunities, freight and other areas.  Doing this will add further merit to the case for sealing and increase opportunities in seeking support for the project.  A draft report has been received and is being reviewed by all stakeholders. The report will be made publicly available when finalised.
  • Solar Reserve - Aurora Projects - $650m.  Proposed 150MW solar thermal project north of Port Augusta (Carriewerloo Station).  Estimated 650 jobs during construction stage (expected duration of 30 months) with 50 ongoing positions for the operations stage.  Development Application has been approved by the South Australian Government.  A Heritage Agreement has been signed with native title holders, Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation.  Job opportunities will be advertised in newspapers, online, through social media and on the website at www.solarreserve.com/careers. For more information: http://www.solarreserve.com/en/global-projects/csp/aurora 
  • Energy Australia - Pumped Hydro - $300m.  Project to utilise sea water for a hydro plant through Cultana Defence property.  Feasibility study complete. Estimated 200 construction jobs and 15 ongoing.  For more information: https://arena.gov.au/projects/energyaustralia-south-australian-pumped-hydro-energy-storage-phes-feasibility-study/
  • Altura Group - Goat Hill Pumped Hydro - $367m.  Project to utilise fresh water for a hydro scheme on Goat Hill, north-west of Port Augusta.  220MW - 270MW facility with capacity for up to 8 hours energy storage. Estimated 200 construction jobs and 15 ongoing with 55% "local" content.  For more information: http://www.alturagroup.com.au/our-projects-goat-hill/
  • Nexif Energy - Lincoln Gap Wind Farm - $450m. Project to construct a 212MW wind farm on Goat Hill near Lincoln Gap. All necessary Government and local planning and development approvals received.  Construction of up to 59 wind turbines each with a potential capacity of up to 3.6MW. Estimated 300 construction jobs with 5 ongoing.  For more information: http://www.nexifenergy.com/project/lincoln-gap/
  • Oz Minerals - Carrapateena Mine Project - $910m.  Copper and gold mining project with the aim of producing copper concentrate by 2019.  Project site is 160km north of Port Augusta. Exploring the Upper Spencer Gulf for possible site, infrastructure and port options for a concentrate treatment plant.  Local employment opportunities for both mining operations and treatment plant (pending final location). Native Title Mining Agreement wit the Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation was registered in August.  The Mining Lease approval process continues with the State and Federal Governments working to an agreed schedule, which should see the Mining Lease approved in Q1 2017. Development of the Carrapateena declines are progressing to plan, with total development at 3.017 metres and a vertical depth of 219 metres.  The mine study has been completed and is currently under review with the project execution team.  Design work is expected to be finalised by the end of the year. Recruiting of experienced cave operations and technical personnel has been successful with a number of high calibre, experienced staff joining the team from comparable mining operations.  Mobilisation of the construction workforce is underway.  Installation contracts have been executed for the pre-owned 500-bed accommodation village which has been purchased and is due to arrive on site in October.  Preparatory groundwork for the airstrip and village has commenced.  For more information: https://www.ozminerals.com/operations/carrapateena-project/
  • CU River - Cairn Hill - $800m.  Located approximately 50km south-east of Coober Pedy.  CU River lodged the Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation application for Cairn Hill pits 3 & 4 in August 2017 and awaiting State Government approval.  Announced in October 2017 an expansion which the company estimated could create up to 1300 jobs.  CU River has committed to using SA suppliers wherever possible on the project. For more information: http://www.curiver.com.au/operations/
  • Leigh Creek Energy - In Situ Gasification Plant. Construction, operation and decommissioning of a small-scale in situ gasification plant at the Leigh Creek Coalfield. Leigh Creek Energy have completed the draft Environmental Impact Report and accompanying draft Statement of Environmental Objectives. These documents are with the Energy Resources Division of the Department of Premier and Cabinet to assess the adequacy of the documents for compliance against the requirements of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000.  For more information: http://www.lcke.com.au/Corporate-Responsibility/Environment