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ACCIONA Agua wins its first desalination deal in Australia


The Adelaide Aqua consortium - in which ACCIONA Agua heads the design process as technologist - will design, build and operate South Australia's largest desalination plant

The renewable energy-powered plant will deliver a quarter of the water supply for Adelaide, a city with over one million inhabitants

The Adelaide Aqua consortium - in which ACCIONA Agua heads the design process as technologist - will design, build and operate South Australia's largest desalination plant.

The renewable energy-powered plant will deliver a quarter of the water supply for Adelaide, a city with over one million inhabitants.

Construction of the desalination plant in South AustraliaThe Government of South Australia has awarded AdelaideAqua, a consortium comprising ACCIONA Agua, United Utilities, McConnell Dowell and Abigroup Contractors, a landmark contract to design, build and operate the future desalination plant at Port Stanvac (Adelaide). The 1.4 billion Australian dollar (around 700 million euros) project includes a purpose-built water distribution pipeline.

The renewable energy-powered plant will deliver 150,000m3 of water a day, a figure that could double over the coming years. In two years' time, total capacity will reach 300,000m3 a day, making this plant the largest of its kind anywhere in the world. Construction is scheduled for completion in December 2010. The plant will come into operation on the same date and will deliver a quarter of the annual water needs of Adelaide's one million plus inhabitants.

ACCIONA Agua brings leading-edge desalination technology, design and operational practices to the Adelaide plant, including:

  • A pre-treatment process that will provide high levels of reliability, less energy use and reduced need for chemicals.
  • A highly efficient reverse osmosis design, which is an Australian benchmark, that will mean more efficient use of the seawater extracted, significant energy savings and a smaller plant footprint.
  • An innovative diffuser for the saline concentrate that will ensure adequate mixing back into the marine environment and meet the specified environmental performance criteria

South Australian Premier Mike Rann says: "After rigorous assessment against hundreds of environmental, technical, financial, legal and social criteria, AdelaideAqua has emerged as the consortia best placed to deliver this critical infrastructure for our State."

Minister for Water Security Karlene Maywald says: "The companies involved in the AdelaideAqua consortium have significant experience in constructing and operating desalination plants around the world, in particular the application of leading edge reverse osmosis technology.

"We have said from the start we do not want to compromise the environment and we are confident the approach proposed by AdelaideAqua will ensure we have a plant designed, built and operated with maximum environmental efficiency", she adds.

A premier market

This latest deal further strengthens ACCIONA Agua's position in the Australian water market as a pioneer in desalination technology.

ACCIONA Agua first entered the Australian market in 2007 when it joined forces with the local subsidiary of the U.K.'s United Utilities to carry out desalination projects in Australia.

ACCIONA Agua now joins ACCIONA Energy in delivering integrated solutions aimed at progressing sustainable development in Australia and the Asia Pacific area.  ACCIONA Energy, established ACCIONA's Melbourne office in 2002 to deliver renewable energy projects. Since that date, ACCIONA Energy has carried out a number of important projects in Australia, such as the Cathedral Rocks and Waubra wind farms (Waubra is still under construction), with a combined total capacity of 258 MW.

Australia is one of the key countries in ACCIONA's international expansion, along with USA, Mexico, Canada, Chile, Brazil and Poland

In today's increasingly globalized water treatment market, ACCIONA Agua - which already operates on five continents - is strengthening its position as industry leader through a complete range of water management services, including designing, building and operating water treatment, sewage treatment and desalination plants. The company's current projects and deals deliver treatment, cleansing, reuse and desalination of water for over fifty million people.

McConnell Dowell Constructors is a specialist engineering, construction and maintenance company focused on civil and marine pipelines, mechanical, electrical and tunnelling projects.

Abigroup Contractors is a leading national construction, engineering and contractor organisation with more than 50 years' experience across diverse disciplines. In addition to the delivery of a number of major projects in the health, infrastructure, education, telecommunications and mining sectors.

United Utilities Australia specialises in providing services for publicly-owned water utilities, including ten water treatment plants and three wastewater plants in South Australia, the majority of the Coliban Water assets, the Victorian Super Pipe Project and the LinkWater Alliance in Queensland. Its head office is in Adelaide.

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