Gold Coast's twin intake/outfall tunnels save space and environment

Ralph Burch and Scott Murphy, Gold Coast Desalination Alliance, Australia

A key part of the anti-drought strategy in Queensland, Australia, has been the construction of a 125,000 m³/d seawater reverse-osmosis desalination plant, located at Tugun on the Gold Coast, due to start producing water in November 2008. This plant will supply up to 20% of the average demand for the Brisbane/Gold Coast Region.

The Gold Coast Desalination Project is an excellent example of the delivery of a complex project in a very fast timeframe through the use of innovation and teamwork. The blueprint for this outcome was set very early in the project by the adoption of an alliance-style contract for the project.

The plant also features twin segmentally lined intake and outfall tunnels, each 2.8 m internal diameter. The tunnels extend approximately 1.5 km offshore, into 20 m water depth.

This article appeared in D&WR magazine's August/September 2008 issue.

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