Plenary Group and Partners to Deliver $76 Million Thermal Drying Facility in Australia

The Victorian Government has announced that the Plenary Environment consortium has been awarded the contract to design, build, finance and operate a $76M thermal drying biosolids facility for Barwon Water – one of the largest water corporations in the State.

Under the consortium arrangements, Plenary Environment has engaged Water Infrastructure Group (WI Group) to manage the design, construction and operation of the facility. Plenary Environment’s contract with WI Group covers the operation of the facility for the 20 years of the concession term. Plenary Environment is a wholly owned subsidiary of infrastructure specialist and consortium leader Plenary Group.

Based in Geelong, 80 kilometres south-west of Melbourne, Barwon Water provides quality water and sewerage services to 250,000 people over an area of more than 8,100 square kilometres in Victoria’s south-west.

The new thermal drying facility will process the region’s 54,000 tonnes of biosolids produced each year, providing a sustainable biosolids management soution for Barwon Water. The biosolids will be processed to ‘T1’ grade to maximise the potential for sustainable beneficial use, as a fossil fuel replacement or fertiliser.

Plenary Group Principal, Mr John O’Rourke said that the consortium was very pleased that it had been chosen to partner Barwon Water, providing private sector expertise in the delivery of this important water project.

Mr O’Rourke said, “The new biosolids facility will deliver one of the first steps Barwon Water needs to achieve its goal of a “zero waste” sewage treatment and water recycling process”.

When completed in mid 2009, the facility will deliver:

WI Group's project director responsible for delivering the new biosolids facility, Mr Peter Everist, said, “Management of biosolids is a key sustainability challenge for the water industry in Australia and around the world and this will be a project of national significance.

“As a former regional manager of our Geelong office, I am genuinely excited to be leveraging Earth Tech’s global resources to deliver a world class biosolids solution for Barwon Water and the local community,” he said.