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SKM, John Holland to build Melbourne desalination system

Engineering, sciences and project delivery firm Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM), and contracting, engineering and services provider John Holland have been awarded a contract to design and build infrastructure that will help deliver desalinated water to Melbourne’s water supply network.

John Holland and SKM will form the Cardinia Connection Alliance with Melbourne Water to construct a 2.3km water pipeline to Melbourne’s second biggest reservoir and build a new pump station.

The A$50 million project will connect the end of the 84km pipeline from Melbourne’s new desalination plant, which finishes in Berwick, with Melbourne’s existing water supply system. The desalination plant is scheduled for completion by the end of 2011.

Desalinated water will travel through Melbourne Water’s new pipeline into Cardinia Reservoir. A new pump station will enable desalinated water to be transferred along an existing pipeline from Cardinia to Silvan Reservoir, expanding the supply footprint for desalinated water to most of suburban Melbourne.

Melbourne Water’s general manager of asset planning, Dr Paul Pretto, said John Holland and SKM have experience in delivering similar works, particularly as both were part of the Alliance that built the 70km Sugarloaf Pipeline.

“The Sugarloaf Pipeline and the desalination plant will provide more flexibility in how we supply water to Melbourne, which we know is the key to dealing with climate uncertainty and population growth,” he said.

SKM’s general manager, water & environment, Geoff Linke, said SKM was delighted to be involved in delivering such a significant piece of infrastructure.

“This is an important project for Melbourne and one we are thrilled to be working on as part of the Cardinia Connection Alliance,” Linke said.

“This is a project that SKM has seen through with Melbourne Water from inception including planning, approvals design and now through Alliance participation for project delivery.”

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