A contract to build the world’s largest public-private desalination project in Australia has been awarded to Suez Environment through its AquaSure joint venture.
AquaSure includes Degremont, Thiess - an Australian construction and services company - and the Macquarie Group, an international provider of banking, financial and fund-management services.
The £1.7bn project, located 80km from Melbourne on the Bass Strait, includes financing, design, construction and operation until 2039.
The plant with provide a third of metropolitan Melbourne’s drinking water needs by the end of 2011 - 450,000 cubic metres a day via an 85km distribution network.
The construction contract will pay Suez and Degremont £1bn over 30 years via a Thiess Degremont joint-venture, and be operated through a Degremont Thiess Services joint-venture.
It includes projections to increase production to 600,000 cubic metres a day while meeting the Victoria Government’s environmental and energy standards.
Its energy needs will be provided by a wind farm, while rooftop gardens and an extensive wildlife-protection scheme will preserve the natural setting by being integrated into the environment