US agency picks trio for desalination project pipe deal

US water agency, California American Water (CalAm), has selected three firms to construct a 30km pipeline with pumping stations and storage facilities to deliver desalinated water from a planned facility under its Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project.

Garney Pacific, Mountain Cascade and Monterey Peninsula Engineering ranked highest on technical and business criteria and provided the lowest cost estimates on the parts of the project for which they were selected according to CalAm. Six companies had responded to a request for proposals issued in August.

“Awarding the pipeline work to three firms provides advantages in terms of both schedule and cost,” said CalAm’s engineering manager, Ian Crooks. The trio join CDM Constructors contracted to build the desalination facility and Boart Longyear for the source wells.

CalAm will provide the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project Governance Committee with statements of qualifications and proposals it received, along with its evaluation report and draft contracts. The committee will conduct its own review and make further recommendations on the award of the contracts, valued at some US$ 92 million.

The Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project is planned as a replacement for the Carmel River as the penninsular’s primary source of water supply. The project will include either a 40 Ml/d desalination plant or a 25 Ml/d one combined with advanced treated recycled water at 13 Ml/d from groundwater replenishment project, Pure Water Monterey.

CalAm has firm bids in hand for all the major components of the project. The pipeline and conveyance bids were higher than expected, the company said, but the overall costs for the 40 Ml/d desalination plant were within cost estimate the firm gave to the California Public Utilities Commission (in November of 2013.

CalAm said many elements were remained subject to price cuts through value engineering scheduled to take place during the first half of 2016.

“For the smaller desalination plant and groundwater replenishment combination, it appears that without significant grant contributions the economics on this option could be challenging. We will be working with Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District between now and the next California Public Utilities Commission testimony milestone in January 2016 to attempt to narrow this gap,” said Crooks.

The statements of qualifications, proposals and evaluation report will be posted to the project’s website,