• Plant's daily production capacity will rise to 300,000 cubic meters, making it the world's largest desal project
ADELAIDE, Australia, June 25, 2009 -- The signing of the contract by AdelaidAqua coincides with the official visit of the King and Queen of Spain, who were accompanied by ACCIONA Chairman & CEO, José Manuel Entrecanales, and other businessmen.
Entrecanales' trip to Australia is part of ACCIONA's strategic project of worldwide development and is aimed at enhancing the Company's presence in the country.
The ACCIONA Agua-led AdelaideAqua consortium, also comprising United Utilities, McConnell Dowell and AbiGroup, has received a mandate from the Government of the State of South Australia to double the production capacity of the Port Stanvac (Adelaide) desalination plant. Daily production at the plant will be stepped up to 300,000 cubic meters, enough to deliver potable water to 500,000 inhabitants, half the population of Adelaide. This increased production makes Port Stanvac the world's largest functioning desalination project in terms of production capacity. The plant is expected to reach full production capacity in December 2011.
The Government of the State of South Australia has allocated AUD228 million (around 130 million euros) for the increase in production capacity, bringing total investment in this project to AUD1.83 billion (around 1 billion euros).
The contract was signed officially during the state visit to Australia by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, who were accompanied by officials from Spain's Department of Commerce and a group of Spanish businessmen with business interests in the country, including ACCIONA Chairman & CEO, José Manuel Entrecanales.
Throughout the visit, Entrecanales has worked to raise the profile of ACCIONA in Australia in meetings with local politicians and members of the Australian business community, in an effort to lend his own personal support to the Company's plans for growth in the country. ACCIONA is currently engaged in a range of actual and potential projects in the areas in which it operates, namely renewable energies, infrastructure and water services, worth a total of AUD 1 billion (around 570 million euros).
ACCIONA made its first inroads in Australia in 2002 and has since placed the country among its list of key markets in the Company's push for international expansion. The Spanish business corporation has a direct workforce of around 50 people in Australia, led by Country Manager Brett Thomas.
Earlier this year, in February, ACCIONA Agua broke into this new market when the AdelaideAqua consortium was awarded a contract for the design, operation and maintenance of the Port Stanvac, Adelaide, desalination plant. The situation of the city's water needs has since led the State Government to speed up approval of the doubling of the plant's production capacity.
Until the Port Stanvac desalination project, ACCIONA's operations in Australia were limited to the renewable energy sector, with two wholly-owned, fully operational wind farms, with a combined total installed capacity of 258 MW.
• Cathedral Rocks wind farm. This 66 MW wind farm, located in South Australia State, came into operation in 2005 and represents an investment of AUD142 million (79 million euros).
• Waubra wind farm. This 192 MW wind farm is ACCIONA'S largest to date anywhere in the world. Located in Victoria State, and comprising 128 ACCIONA Windpower 1.5 MW wind generators, the Waubra wind farm represents an investment of AUD 498 million (277 million euros).
ACCIONA is currently developing projects -- at varying stages of completion -- totaling 1,300 MW.