Management of entire Perth water supply outsourced to French desalination company

A Perth reader sent me this little bombshell from June – so now the French desalination company Degrémont a part of the global SUEZ Environnement Group will “…operate and maintain water production and wastewater treatment assets for Perth.” And yes that includes the 13 dams.

The WA Govt about a decade ago decided to introduce seawater desalination and at the same time allow dams to steadily be “decommissioned” by a creeping process of not managing dam catchment vegetation. A process that has cost Perth water users about a thousand GL of water over say 15 years.
The media release is loaded with all the “expensive water” propaganda – referring to water as “precious” etc. No not precious; water is a common compound that falls free from the sky. We have to have the brains and will to collect it. Our pioneers and forefathers who built our dams would turn in their graves to think we were steadily making the dams more useless by not having the common sense and guts to thin catchment bush – due to political pressure from the Greens. As my reader in Perth said – “I can’t see Degrémont pushing catchment management as a profit centre.” Click more for text of entire media release.

Degrémont signs contract to operate and maintain water
production and wastewater treatment assets for Perth

Degrémont, subsidiary of world leader in water and waste management
services Suez Environnement, has signed with its partner Transfield
Services, a contract with the Western Australia Public Water Utility,
Water Corporation, to operate and maintain the water production and
wastewater treatment assets of the city of Perth, Australia’s 4th largest
city.

With a start date of 1 July 2012, the project is valued at $378 million AUD
(294 million Euros) over the initial term and runs for 10 years (with a
possible extension of a further 5 years).

Overall, Degrémont, Water Corporation and Transfield Services will
manage and operate 19 water treatment plants, 14 wastewater treatment plants and 2 advanced water recycling plants as well as 13 dams, to deliver services to Perth’s 1.5 million residents, through an Integrated Alliance named ‘Aroona’.

Commenting on the signed contract, Degrémont Australia’s CEO, Roch Cheroux, said
this agreement confirms the continued confidence of Water Corporation in
Degrémont’s capabilities, following the construction and continued successful
operation of Perth’s Seawater Desalination Plant at Kwinana.

“Perth is one of Australia’s most important cities as the port of entry to the country’s minerals and resources boom. Achieving a sustainable and reliable water management solution is critical to the city’s future growth and prosperity.”

“This significant project confirms Degrémont’s commitment to the Australian water Industry and we’re looking forward to continuing to grow our already strong relationship with Water Corporation by providing an innovative operating and maintenance service while delivering long-term value through this strategic partnership,” said Mr Cheroux.

Apart from delivering excellent quality water and wastewater services, Aroona will also focus on measures to protect water as a precious resource for Western Australia’s future generations.

Media Contact
Dylan Malloch
Sefiani Communications Group
(02) 8920 0700 or dmalloch@sefiani.com.au

About Degrémont
Degrémont was originally incorporated in Australia as Australian Water Services (AWS) in 1991 and is a subsidiary of Degrémont, the international water treatment plant specialist within SUEZ Environnement Group, which provides environmental skills in terms of water management, sanitation, and waste services.

Within SUEZ Environnement, Degrémont has been the world water treatment specialist for more than 70 years. Operating in more than 70 countries with 4,500 employees, Degrémont generated revenues of 1,520 million Euros in 2010. Degrémont is a world leader in water treatment solutions and technologies such as the production of drinking water, desalination by reverse osmosis, waste water treatment and sludge treatment.

7 comments to Management of entire Perth water supply outsourced to French desalination company

  • Beachgirl

    I read “The West Australian” every day and missed seeing this reported.
    Will ask around.

  • A brief look at the corporate structures of SUEZ, etc. shows the board heavily loaded with “professional directors”.

    Reminds me of what Winston Churchill once said:
    “Cultured people are merely the glittering scum which floats upon the deep river of production”

    A large corporation is seldom more efficient that a local authority. They both suffer from characteristic institutional diseases. What makes the corporate one “worse” is that, absent competition, they tend to try to manipulate the market to maximise profit. Government then has to legislate to try to put the monopoly of its own creation back in the bottle. At which point the corporation throws it’s arms in the air and scurries away with all the money, saying that it’s impossible to do business in this State/country.

  • Philip Bradley

    While I am not in favour of government doing most things, water catchment is an exception, because it uses large areas of public land.

    And while greenies like to go on about Australia being the driest continent. We in fact have plenty of water available on a per capita basis. Twice as much as Ireland for example.

    www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_wat_ava-health-water-availability

  • [...] Management of entire Perth water supply outsourced to French desalination company [...]

  • Degrémont is not here to help Western Australia’s environment or to save Western Australia any water or money. They are here to carry off as much loot as possible as fast as possible before anyone notices that they are the cutting edge of the greatest scam in history.

  • Philip Bradley

    Warwick, baring unusual spring rains, Perth dams have reached their winter maximum, and its the lowest ever.

    Meanwhile the Argyle dam on the Ord river is 90% full and it contains 10 times more water than all the other dams in the state combined.

  • Siliggy

    Seems like this desal thing has been tried before. Time to resurect C.Y. O’connor.
    Check out the video.
    dl.nfsa.gov.au/module/1001/
    See also
    pipeliner.com.au/news/water_pipeline_from_perth_to_kalgoorlie_1894_-1903/040096/

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