A long-term strategy

Climate change and drought remain the biggest challenges to water supply in Australia. In 2007, the Victorian Government released a long-term plan to guarantee and secure a reliable water supply for the state’s growing population and economy, including a range of initiatives to diversify and boost water supplies in major urban centres.

Critical to the plan was the construction of a new desalination plant to provide around 4.5 million residents in Melbourne and regional areas with a rainfall-independent fresh water source.


State of the art

The Victorian Government contracted AQUASURE, a Special Purpose Vehicle of 8 investing Shareholders (including SUEZ) to finance, design, build, operate and maintain the Victorian Desalination Project for 30 years.

The $3.5-billion project features an advanced environmentally sustainable design and is the largest reverse osmosis desalination plant in Australia, using 51 reverse osmosis racks and 55,000 membranes to remove salt and other dissolved solids from the seawater.

The plant was commissioned in record time in 2012, meeting 100 per cent of quality and efficiency targets and transitioning seamlessly to the operation and maintenance phase.

Embedding renewability

The plant’s design minimises negative impacts on the local landscape, flora and fauna, communities and cultural heritage. Its living green roof – the largest in the southern hemisphere – links the site with the surrounding coastal landscape and reduces the visibility of the industrial buildings. A 225-hectare ecological reserve constructed around the plant preserves biodiversity and offers the public a recreational space.

The plant’s reverse osmosis technology, compact modular design and myriad of efficiency features reduce its energy requirements, and 100 per cent of the energy used is offset by renewable energy certificates.

The future of fresh water

The Victorian Desalination Plant can produce up to 150 gigalitres of desalinated water each year, with upgrade capacity to 200 gigalitres.

One of the world’s largest Public Private Partnership projects, it sets new global benchmarks in engineering excellence, plant efficiency and ecological integration.



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Download our Victorian Desalination Project brochure