Partner of First Choice for Desalination

Partner of First Choice for Desalination

30 Jun 2010

AE Smith has been appointed by Thiess Degrémont Joint Venture to deliver all mechanical services for stage one the $3.5 billion Victorian Desalination Project.

The Project is the largest seawater desalination plant currently being developed in Australia and represents the largest public sector investment in water infrastructure in Australia’s history. It will supply up to 150 gigalitres (GL) of water a year to Melbourne, Geelong and, via other connections, South Gippsland and Western Port towns, with the capacity to upgrade to supply up to 200 GL in future. The Project’s production capacity represents approximately one third of Melbourne’s annual water usage from a source that is entirely independent of rainfall.

As of November 2009, the Project is the world’s largest Public Private Partnership (PPP) project undertaken in the last 12 months.

The Project will be delivered by the AquaSure consortium, comprising Degrémont SA, Suez Environnement, Thiess Pty Ltd and Macquarie Group, in partnership with the Capital Projects Division of the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Source: Capital Projects Division & Department of Treasury and Finance, Partnerships Victoria Project Summary, Victorian Desalination Project.

layout of Victorian Desalination Plant

Desalination turns sea water into drinking water by removing the salt and other impurities through a treatment process. The water produced for Melbourne will need to meet strict Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and Department of Human Services requirements.

Melbourne Water’s preliminary design for the plant includes tunnels under the coast to move the seawater to the plant and an 85 kilometre pipeline to connect the plant to the water supply network. This will be finalised as the detailed design is completed.


Picture source: Seawater Desalination Feasibility Study, June 2007

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