Desalination Plant Victoria

We designed the high-voltage electrical components for one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Victoria’s history.


  • Australia


Project Value

  • AU$3.5 billion

Project Status

  • Completed 2012


  • Arm Architecture and PeckvonHartel

A Thiess Degremont joint venture was responsible for the design and construction of the Victorian Desalination Project for the AquaSure Public Private Partnership. The joint venture engaged WSP to develop the high-voltage electrical infrastructure design for the desalination plant.


The Victorian Desalination Project provides a drought-proof water supply for the growing areas of Melbourne and Geelong. It is a rainfall-independent source of water and it complements the existing catchment systems. Vital elements of the plant have a design life of 100 years and the plant can produce high-quality water when required, making it a valuable resource.


Performance and Value

Our team created a complete suite of preliminary designs, specifications and cost estimates for a 220-transmission cable, 220/22 kV step-down substation and 22 kV reticulation and sub-distribution. We also completed a comprehensive range of sophisticated system studies.


Underground power was the preferred solution for the project as it has the least impact on landowners and people living and working in the area.


Successful Outcomes

A 220kV High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) power cable – the longest of its type in the world – is co-located with the water supply pipeline. This powers the plant and all operational power is offset by Renewable Energy Certificates. The power line is now operated and maintained by SP Ausnet on behalf of the State of Victoria.


The plant was in preservation mode until March 2017, when it produced its first water. It produced an average of 467ML per day, more than its anticipated capacity.