Nullinga Dam on the Atherton Tableland in far north Queensland has been proposed as a large regional economic development project at various times over recent decades. Most recently it was subject to a Detailed Business Case Assessment by Building Queensland to advise the Queensland Government on the prospects of the project. Building Queensland engaged NineSquared to provide commercial and financial advisory services.
NineSquared’s water expertise and experience were utilised to develop a detailed 30- and 50-year Net Present Value models to assess the financial viability of multiple options for the size and configuration of the dam. NineSquared also constructed a comprehensive regulated pricing model to assess the affordability of the project from a customer’s perspective, as well as from the Government’s perspective as a potential funding source.
Results & Relevance
The financial and affordability assessments highlighted several major financial risks associated with the project, mostly reflecting the large capital costs of constructing the dam relative to the amount of additional new water sales that would be made available. Affordability was shown to be a major challenge in the absence of considerable government capital grant funding.
This project demonstrates NineSquared’s ability and experience in robustly assessing the viability of bulk water infrastructure projects, including through incorporating detailed engineering and other inputs into our modelling.