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International Companies Shortlisted to Build Australia's Largest Desalination Plant


30 September 2008

The Victorian Government has released a shortlist that includes leading international companies for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of Australia’s largest Desalination Plant Project, to be situated southeast of Melbourne.

The two short listed bidders are:
· AquaSure comprising Degrémont, SUEZ Environment, Macquarie Capital Group and Thiess
· BassWater comprising Veolia Water, John Holland and ABN AMRO Australia.

Water Minister Tim Holding said the short listed consortia were “two of the world's leading desalination companies” and both had demonstrated their capability in building and operating large desalination plants in Australia and overseas.

“The two consortia selected have strong construction, financial, technology, environmental management and architectural experience, particularly in building desalination plants,” Mr Holding said.

“While the consortia are made up of highly skilled overseas companies with vast experience in desalination technology, the majority of the construction and subsequent labour force will be Australian-based.”

The desalination plant will be delivered as a Public – Private Partnership, which includes construction and operation of the plant, an 85-kilometre transfer pipeline, delivery of power supply for the project and the purchase of renewable energy.

The desalination plant will be operational by the end of 2011 and will provide 150 billion litres of water per year with the potential to increase to 200 billion litres in the future.

Mr Holding said the Victorian Government was providing a non-rainfall dependent source of water for Melbourne, the major regional city of Geelong and other regional towns in Western Port and South Gippsland.

The short listing process followed stringent evaluation of eight applicants submitting Expressions of Interest (EOI) by the July 2008 deadline. Both proponents will now develop and submit competitive bids to the Victorian Government in March 2009.

The Desalination Plant Project contract will be awarded by mid-2009 but preliminary works are underway at the Wonthaggi site to develop a seawater sampling plant and to determine the location for the inlet and outlet pipes for the plant.

Public submissions to the Environment Effects Statement (EES) closed on September 30.

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