By REBEKAH CAVANAGH
A $1.3 BILLION plan to supply Darwin with power from southern Queensland is back on the agenda.
The plan was a CLP election promise last year, when it was suggested it would cut power costs for Darwinians by more than 30 per cent.
NT-based company NTQ Energy laid the proposal back on the table at a Darwin City Council meeting last month.
The plan involves linking the Top End to the national grid via a 3000km powerline from Darwin to Mt Isa.
NTQ Energy director Jeff Hutchison was due to hold a breakfast briefing on the project, including a feasibility study, at the Free Spirit Resort today.
The former chief executive of NT Power Group, which tried to introduce competition in the Territory electricity market in the 1990s, was confident a cheaper rate of power could be supplied.
"Our power has a 99.5 per cent reliability and is 25 to 30 per cent cheaper than the current retail cost," he told council last month.
Mr Hutchison said the company would not be a threat to the Power and Water Corporation but could supply the utility with cheap electricity from Queensland.
He said electricity could be bought at between 1.8c and 3.2c a kilowatt an hour from the Queensland pool.
Power and Water is believed to be producing electricity for 6c to 8c per kW/h.
Mr Hutchison said the proposed line is a high-voltage direct current line, not an alternating current line, common in Australia.
He said it was highly unlikely there would be faults in the line and if so, power outages would be minimal.
He said if all goes to plan the transmission line was expected to be complete and running by June 2010.
He said this was "timely" because the Territory's current gas supply contracts are expected to run out between 2008 and 2012. http://www.ntnews.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,7034,19783897%255E13569,00.html