Jul 31, 2009

Suez Environnement Wins Bid for Largest Desalination Plant in Australia

Plant will provide one-third of Melbourne’s water needs by end of 2011

Through its Degrémont subsidiary and the AquaSure joint venture, the State of Victoria has just awarded Suez Environnement the contract for a seawater desalination plant project that will allow it to provide a third of metropolitan Melbourne’s water needs by the end of 2011.

This contract is the world’s largest public-private desalination project. It includes financing, design, construction and operation to 2039 for a plant with a capacity of 450,000 cu meters of drinking water per day, as well as an 85-km water distribution network. The total value of the investment is approximately $2.8 billion.

This contract represents total revenues for Suez Environnement and Degrémont of approximately $1.7 billion over 30 years through the design and construction of the plant in the period to December 2011 via the Thiess Degrémont joint-venture, and its operation through a Dégremont Thiess Services joint venture.

The contract was awarded to the AquaSure Joint Venture, which consists of Suez Environnement/Degrémont; Thiess, an Australian construction and services company; and Macquarie Group, an international provider of banking, financial and funds management services.

Located 80 km from Melbourne on the Bass Strait, the seawater desalination plant will satisfy the Victoria Government’s environmental and energy requirements, applying the latest technologies of Degrémont and its partners.

Over time, an additional treatment line is envisioned, to ensure an increase in drinking water production capacity to 600,000 cu meters per day.

The plant will be completely integrated into its environment and will preserve the natural setting by creating an ecological space and reducing the environmental impact through rooftop gardens, ambitious planting programs for the site and protection of fauna. Moreover, the energy needed for producing and delivering the drinking water will be 100% renewable, generated primarily by a new wind farm in the State of Victoria.