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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Tugun Desalination Plant producing water as offshore works platform is permanently dismantled

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Tugun Desalination Plant producing water as offshore works platform is permanently dismantled

    The final works platform temporarily moored off Tugun will depart in coming days, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe announced today.

    Mr Hinchliffe said the platform, used to assist in marine works for the Tugun Desalination Plant, was no longer needed and would leave on Monday weather permitting.

    He said the departure would follow the recommencement of water production at the plant where the major phase of final works has been completed. Water production ceased temporarily on June 4 to allow for final works prior to finalisation and handover in the second half of 2010. Finalisation of final works and handover is expected in coming weeks.

    “The major phase of final works is complete, the Tugun Desalination Plant is again producing water and the large works platform visible from shore is scheduled to depart on Monday,’’ Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “The barge was only required temporarily and is not necessary for the day-to-day operations of the plant.

    “I am informed some people believed the barge would be moored off Tugun permanently, but I can assure you that is not the case.

    “I am happy to inform residents that the unimpaired ocean views they know and love will be returned to them. I would like to thank Gold Coast and Tugun residents for their patience.’’

    Mr Hinchliffe said project costs remained within the project’s $1.2 billion budget.

    “The major phase of final works has been completed within budget and the plant is again producing water,’’ Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “These works will now be thoroughly tested to ensure all aspects of construction meet the Government’s strict guidelines before the plant is formally accepted from the constructor.

    “The State Government will not accept the plant until all contractual requirements are met but finalisation and hand over are expected in coming weeks.

    “It’s important to remember the State Government decided to build the Tugun Desalination Plant in response to the worst drought in South East Queensland in 100 years.

    “From 2005 to 2009 water supply for the region’s two million people effectively stopped being replenished from natural sources and everyone from families to farmers were impacted.

    “The Tugun Desalination plant is a key part of the State Government’s South East Queensland’s drought safety net, producing the daily water supply needs for 665,000 people.

    “Since February 2009, the Tugun Desalination Plant has produced and distributed more than 27 billion litres of drinking water to the South East Queensland Water Grid.

    “When drought occurs, this plant will ensure one of our most precious resources is literally on tap.’’

    Media: 0417 815 223

    FAST FACTS:

    ·From July 2007 to July 2008 South East Queensland water use fell from 300 litres per person per day to less than 115 litres in some areas.

    ·Residents did not water their gardens, clean their homes or cars and were forced to reuse their wash water and slash shower times. Communities and residents lost investments made in their parks, gardens and open spaces. Many businesses took on the burden of water reduction.

    ·It was a massive effort and residents should be proud – particularly of the fact that water conservation has continued to be a priority.

    ·In 2007 the State Government embarked on building the South East Queensland Water Grid - a critical safety net that links dams and reservoirs so water can be shared in times of drought.

    ·The Tugun Desalination plant is a key part of the safety net, producing the daily water supply needs for 665,000 people.

    ·It plays a critical part in ensuring the region never again faces the prospect of running dry. Since 2009, the plant has supplied more than 27.6 billion litres of water to the grid.

    ·In 2009 nine items at the Tugun Desalination Plant were found to need rectification before the plant could be accepted by the State Government. Work on these items has been completed and final testing is underway to ensure the durability and warranty of the facility before it is accepted from the constructor.

    · ITEMS RECTIFIED TO ENSURE WARRANTY OF PLANT: 45 pipe couplings and some non return valves affected by corrosion have been replaced, the one megalitre intermediate permeate tank has been replaced, the saltwater intake shaft has been inspected and repaired, the marine diffuser has been strengthened, 120m of more than 3km of pipe has been replaced following corrosion, minor vibration of energy recovery devices has been eliminated, faulty flexible pipes have been replaced and bolts securing valves on the reverse osmosis train have been replaced.

    ·The State Government wants to ensure the plant meets best practice specifications. But what the Government really wants is drinking water next time there’s a drought – and South East Queensland is already more than 27 billion litres ahead.

    ·The capacity at which the plant operates will be determined by the South East Queensland Water Grid Manager. The plant can operate at 33, 66 or 100 per cent.