The announcement of a $610 million federal government loan to build a hydro power storage scheme in the abandoned Kidston mine has been welcomed as "terrific" news for North Queensland.
The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility recently approved the loan, its largest investment ever, for the Kidston project 270 kilometres north west of Townsville.
According to the NAIF, the project will deliver $814 million of public benefit in return on the investment.
Townsville-based Coalition Senator Susan McDonald welcomed the news.
"This is terrific for North Queensland. Not only does it mean more jobs to boost the economy, it means cheaper power prices for businesses and families," she said.
"This should give certainty to businesses all over North Queensland who need to plan their finances around power costs."
The project will generate about 510 jobs during the construction phase, with about 30 ongoing jobs once the scheme is up and running.
Genex is developing the hydro storage project at Kidston, a former gold mine 270km northwest of Townsville.
The plant is designed to pump water into an upper storage reservoir through the day or overnight when prices are low, then release it into a lower reservoir to generate power during periods of high demand or need.