Drinking water produced for first time at Victoria desalination plant

The Victoria desalination plant near Melbourne from joint venture Aquasure/Thiess Degremont has started producing its first round of drinking water...

The Victoria desalination plant near Melbourne from joint venture Aquasure/Thiess Degremont has started producing its first round of drinking water, as part of the commissioning process.

The 30-year Melbourne contract was signed in 2009 by Suez subsidiary Degrémont in partnership with construction and services company Thiess, for a 450,000 m³/d capacity facility.

Drinking water produced so far has met the specifications of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, according to the company.

The plant is undergoing a “performance test” which requires drinking water to be produced for a number of consecutive days. During this time the water produced is returned to sea, as per the discharge water quality standards specified under the Section 30A Commissioning Approval.

At the completion of the performance test, a further seven day “reliability test” will be undertaken and water will gradually enter the pipeline for delivery to Cardinia Reservoir.

The quantity of production will progressively increase during commissioning over the next few months with the plant being capable of full production by the end of the year.

The desalination project is hoped to provide 30% of Melbourne’s water needs and is said to be the first time a large-scale desalination facility was secured on a BOT (Build-Operation-Transfer) basis in Australia.

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