Sydney Desalination Plant continues expansion process

02 March 2020 - 12:00 am UTC

Sydney Desalination Plant (SDP) is seeking a construction company and advisers for a possible AUD 1.5bn-2bn (USD 977m-1.3bn) doubling in capacity of the facility despite a recent deluge in the region.

The groups vying to bid on the expansion include John Holland and SUEZ; Clough, Veolia and Salini Impregilo-owned Fisia; and Acciona Agua, said four sources familiar. However, one of the sources said John Holland is considering not going ahead.

A consortium of John Holland and Veolia built the existing plant, which can provide up to 15% of Sydney’s water supply, or about 250 million litres a day.

A separate source familiar said in recent weeks law firms lodged bids with SDP to advise on the debt that needs to be raised to fund the expansion.

The plant last year appointed RBC Capital Markets as financial adviser, Allens as legal adviser and AECOM as technical adviser on the project.

It is not clear when the NSW government will decide whether to go ahead or not. A massive downpour over the weekend of 8-9 February in Sydney and continuing rainfall since then has seen city dam levels rise above 80% from around 40%.

Four sources said a decision has been put back to around the third or fourth quarter of this year. An NSW government spokesperson did not respond to a request to comment.

John Holland, Acciona and Clough declined to comment. SUEZ, Veolia and Salini did not respond to requests for comment. 

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