Spanish/Australian consortium wins 2nd Perth plant

Australia's Water Corporation has announced that the Southern SeaWater Alliance (SSWA) is the preferred consortium to build and operate Western Australia's second seawater desalination plant near Binningup.

SSWA is led by Spanish companies, Tecnicas Reunidas and Valoriza Agua. Its Australian partners are pipeline and trenchless tunnelling specialist AJ Lucas and engineering consultancy Worley Parsons. Tecnicas Reunidas and Valoriza Agua will operate and maintain the 137,000m³/d plant, which will be owned by the Water Corporation, for 25 years.

The Water Corporation emphasises that the announcement does not pre-empt the environmental approvals process, but simply makes sure that the Water Corporation remains in the best position possible to commission the plant on time in 2011. Construction will start in 2009.

In addressing community concerns, SSWA will employ a tunnelling technique to construct the marine inlet and outlet pipes to minimise both dune disturbance and beach closure.

The cost of the project, including the plant, pipeline and other infrastructure required to integrate the plant with the Integrated Water Supply System, will be $955 million as budgeted.

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