Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Cameron Dick MP meet with Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger at their new Redbank facility.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Cameron Dick MP meet with Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger at their new Redbank facility. Cordell Richardson

POWER PLEA: No assurance M'boro grid will meet factory needs

ANNASTACIA Palaszczuk has failed to give assurances there will be adequate power in the Heritage City's grid to sustain energy needs for the planned $60 million munitions factory.

This is despite Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger raising issues about grid capacity during meetings with the Premier and State Development Minister Cameron Dick earlier this year.

The issue came to a head at yesterday's parliamentary sitting, following fears from senior business executives there was not enough capacity on the grid to provide adequate power for the Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions factory and future manufacturing projects.

 

Burnett MP Stephen Bennett questioned Ms Palaszczuk on whether there was sufficient supply for the Maryborough project, and when it would become available.

The Premier could only assure it was a priority project for the State Government.

"It was an issue the CEO of Rheinmetall, when he was out here, raised with both myself and the Minister for State Development (Cameron Dick)," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"As a government we are actively working on that project and we will be able to update shortly.

"We know how important that issue is, in relation to making sure that factory is up and running and can cope with the energy supply."

A Rheinmetall NIOA spokesman said the company was in "ongoing discussions" with the State Government over "various matters including electricity about the new manufacturing plant."

"The project currently remains on schedule," the spokesman said.

The Chronicle previously revealed there may be as little as one megawatt of available electricity on the city's grid, sparking concerns of power shortages for future manufacturing projects.

However, Maryborough's MP Bruce Saunders has repeatedly said there were no supply concerns and the grid could handle the project's electricity needs.

Last week, Mr Saunders dismissed the concerns as a "furphy" and told the Chronicle there was "so much power here it's unbelievable".

An Ergon Energy spokesman said the electricity provider was working with RNM to finalise power requirements for the factory.

"Requirements for connection have not been finalised," the spokesman said.

"As has been stated previously there are no supply issues in the Maryborough area."

Construction on the massive munitions factory in Maryborough is expected to begin in January.

Once operational, the 6000sq m factory will produce artillery shell casings for use by Australian and overseas defence forces.

In August, the joint-venture announced it would be setting up its project headquarters at Maryborough's former Commonwealth Bank - in the heart of the Heritage City's CBD.