Sydney’s Desalination Plant has been named “Desalination Plant of the Year” at the 2011 Global Water Awards in Berlin.


The design and construction phase services for the Plant was carried out by the Bluewater Joint Venture (comprising John Holland and Veolia), with design services being provided by the Sinclair Knight Merz-AECOM joint venture acting under a design-build-operate-maintain contract with Sydney Water.


The Plant can supply up to 15 per cent of Sydney’s water needs, and its power needs are fully offset by renewable energy.


The Sydney plant is the largest operating sea water reverse osmosis desalination facility in Australia, and the third largest in the world. The judges noted that the $1.8 billion project came in $90 million under budget, on time and with a safety record that exceeded expectations.


Also commended were the facility's energy requirements that are offset with 100% renewable energy from a 67-turbine wind farm. The plant also employs an extensive marine life monitoring programme.


The four finalists in the award were: Chennai Minjur in India, Thames Gatesway in the UK (awarded a "Distinction"), Tianjin MED in China, and the Sydney desalination project.


Other winners at the Awards include:


Sembcorp Utilities - Water company of the year (For the water company that has made the most significant contribution to the development of the international water sector during 2010).


Rio Tinto - Water Stewardship Award (For the commercial or industrial company or organization that has made the greatest contribution to the sustainable management of its water cycle)


VA Tech Wabag IPO - Water deal of the year (For the deal, contracted in 2010, which has made the biggest contribution to the advancement of public-private partnerships in the international water sector).


Norit - Water technology company of the year (For the company which has made the most significant contribution in the field of water technology over the past year).