Funding for Melbourne desalination tied up, says report

Despite previous pessimistic media speculation, it appears that the consortium building the Melbourne desalination plant have been offered more funding than they actually need for the project, avoiding the need for any public money.

According to, the AquaSure consortium, Suez Environnement/Degrémont, Thiess Pty and Macquarie Group, agreed to a Aus$ 1.7 billion (US$ 1.5 billion) loan to help fund the project. National Australia Bank Ltd and Westpac Banking Corp managed the syndication, said Bloomberg’s sources.

AquaSure won a Victoria state government contract in July to build the desalination plant. The consortium will fund, design, construct and operate a seawater reverse-osmosis plant capable of providing a third of Melbourne’s annual water supply.

AquaSure’s bank loan is part of the project’s Aus$ 3.7 billion (US$ 3.4 billion) in debt funding. A group of 12 banks earlier agreed to provide the remaining Aus$ 2 billion, says the report.