Californian water district backs talks over new desalination project

Orange County Water District in California, USA has voted to enter into formal negotiations with Poseidon Water to secure a proposed seawater desalination project in Huntington Beach, California.

The Water District board voted 9-1 in favour of opening negotiations with Poseidon over what would be the single largest source of new water in Orange County.

The decision followed Orange County Water District’s completion of an 18-month financial due diligence process. The district’s independent financial consultant, Clean Energy Capital, evaluated the proposed Huntington Beach project and issued a report endorsing Poseidon’s project cost estimates and identifying public-private partnership scenarios that could lower the cost of financing and constructing the plant.

The Huntingdon Beach plant is designed to produce 6.9 billion litres of fresh water annually. It is awaiting discretionary permit approval from the California Coastal Commission to proceed with construction. A hearing before the Coastal Commission is anticipated later this year and construction is expected to begin in 2016.

Poseidon’s 250 Ml/d seawater desalination project in Carlsbad, California. is scheduled to begin operation in the coming autumn. Once completed, it will be the largest, seawater desalination project in the Western Hemisphere.