A number of major projects have been announced or proposed within the LGA, including:
• ERM Power continues to progress with plans for the construction of a gas fired power station at Wellington. In 2010, the company offered shares and sought to raise capital. Indeed, the company's prospectus provides some further good news in that it proposes over time the construction of up to three power stations at the Wellington site . The Wellington 1 project has a capital cost of $681M, and will employ up to 300 during the construction phase, with up to 10 ongoing positions once operational. The latest information available suggests a commencement date of late 2012
• Infigen Energy Development Pty Ltd is progressing with their application for the development of a 25 - 40 tower wind farm at Bodangora. The project has an estimated capital investment value of $200M, and would see the creation of up to 50 jobs during the construction phase and up to 4 operational jobs thereafter . The project is due to commence in late 2011, with construction completed by late 2012
• Wind Prospect has lodged a major project application for the development of a wind farm comprising up to 330 towers located 20km east of Wellington. The project has an estimated capital investment value of $1.3bn . The preliminary environment assessment indicates that construction is anticipated to commence in January 2014, and the project would see up to 250 jobs created during the construction phase, with up to an estimated 40 operational positions thereafter
• A proposal for the development of a 30mtpa coal project south of Cobbora was lodged in January 2010. If approved, the project would result in a $1.3bn capital investment, creating up to 736 jobs during the construction phase, and up to 750 ongoing operation positions . The project which was due to commence in late 2011 has been delayed by up to two years in response to the state governments review into the sale of electricity assets
• Alkane continues with their Dubbo Zirconia Project, which is located at Toongi about 30km south of Dubbo. The Dubbo Zirconia Project focuses on the extraction of the metals zirconium, hafnium, niobium, tantalum, yttrium and rare earth elements. A Demonstration Pilot Plant has been operating since May 2008, and the company anticipates that dependent on financing and development consent the project could be in production in late 2012 or early 2013
• Alkane also continues with exploration of the Comobella Intrusive Complex, with particular focus on the Glen Hollow Prospect. Recent reconnaissance RC drilling has intersected significant gold-copper mineralization, confirming the potential for the project to host significant porphyry style gold-copper mineralization . Further RC drilling is planned.
These projects present significant opportunities for the LGA, including for example employment opportunities, and population growth. Indeed, should all of these projects reach the construction phase; they will result in a capital investment of more than $3.5bn in the local area. On the other hand, the challenges which they will present in terms of possible rental shortages and price increases should not be overlooked.