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Australia Desalination Plant Comes On-Stream

GE technology helping to solve local fresh water shortages; company planning expansion of water industry presence

Posted on February 19, 2013

GE’s Power Conversion business said it was instrumental in bringing Australia’s largest seawater desalination plant into operation. The plant – valued at AU$3.5 billion – can supply up to 150 billion L/yr of drinking water to Melbourne, Australia, and regional communities, providing a rainfall independent supply that will be particularly valuable in times of future drought.

The Victorian Desalination Project, 130 km southeast of Melbourne, runs on low- and medium-voltage drives, medium-voltage motors and harmonic filters supplied by GE. After successfully completing the required 30-day continuous production test, the plant reached full operation in December 2012, three years after construction began.

The AquaSure consortium, which led the project, contracted the Thiess Degrémont Joint Venture to design, construct and operate the desalination plant and marine structures – a 1.9 m diameter water transfer pipeline stretching over 84 km, and an 87 km underground power line (the longest 220kV HVAC underground power cable of its type in the world, according to the company) to connect the plant with the electricity grid.