The State Government is looking at a range of power options to boost energy supplies and encourage development in the Goldfields.
"The Government is committed to mining and industrial development in the region, and is considering the best ways to boost its energy supply," Deputy Premier and Goldfields Minister Ian Taylor said today.
"A power line from Karratha to the Goldfields is one of the options being considered," Mr Taylor said.
"Under this option, some 240 megawatts of gas turbine generating capacity would be installed at Karratha, and a 870km transmission line would be built to Mt Keith via Mt Whaleback.
"Electricity from this line would supply power to seven mining and town developments in the Northern Goldfields.
"Another option is to install gas turbines at Mungarra, near Geraldton on the Dampier-Bunbury gas pipeline, to supply electricity to the Northern Goldfields and down to Kalgoorlie.
"A third option would be to supply electricity from the South-West grid to the North-Eastern Goldfields region."
Mr Taylor said that SECWA had also looked at constructing gas pipelines from Karratha, Mungarra and Perth to the Goldfields, which would cost more.
"Whichever option is adopted, it is clear that the Goldfields will benefit from the Government's determination to support mining developments in the region through increased electricity supplies," he said.
"Getting energy supplies right is essential to encouraging downstream processing and adding value to our enormous mineral resources."
The extra power would supply the Mt Keith proposed nickel project, the Leinster nickel operations, Mt Whaleback, and potential and existing medium to long-term mining operations at Leonora, Mt Windarra, Granny Smith, Wiluna, and Mt Magnet.
Mr Taylor said that Goldfields customers had benefited from a reduction in line charges to the tune of $2 million last year.