Financial close for Australian desalination plant

03 September 2009

Financial close has been reached on the AU$ 3.5 billion (US$ 2.05 billion) Victorian Desalination Project in Victoria, Australia. This was the final hurdle before construction could begin.

The plant in Wonthaggi and 85 km underground pipeline will be built and operated under a public private partnership (PPP) agreement by the AquaSure consortium. The group comprises Thiess, Suez Environment, Degrémont and Macquarie Capital.

Design and construction will largely be handled by Thiess and Degrémont, with completion scheduled for the end of 2011. The consortium will then operate the desalination plant - the largest in Australia - for the remainder of the 30-year concession contract.

According to the Victorian Government, the plant will supply up to 150 billion litres of water per year, supplying Melbourne, Geelong and other coastal settlements. It will be capable of providing around a third of Melbourne's annual water supply from a source that is independent of rainfall.

Construction of the plant and pipeline is expected to generate 1700 jobs.


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