This A$3.5 billion desalination plant is producing drinking water from seawater in a traditionally drought-prone region.

In the developed world, we take water for granted – turn on the tap and it flows. Yet in Australia during the 2000s, an ongoing drought and little rainfall meant Melbourne was in danger of running out.

The Victoria Desalination Plant provided the solution. One of the largest reverse-osmosis desalination plants in the world, it can convert 150 billion litres of seawater into drinking water a year - more than a third of Melbourne’s annual water needs. If required, it can be expanded to deliver up to 200 billion litres.

We collaborated with Parsons Brinckerhoff in a joint venture to deliver a multitude of engineering design services on this project - the most technically advanced and environmentally sensitive desalination facility in Australia.

Nestled in the landscape, its concept is a ‘green line’ running through the site – a natural landscape, a constructed dune, a living green roof, 29 buildings and a coastal park. 15 metres below the seabed, two tunnels stretch 1.2km and 1.5km out to the intake and outfall beneath the sea’s surface.

We had three years to deliver and our teamwork and expertise kept us on track. Ready for whenever the next drought hits, the plant will make sure that Melbourne taps keep flowing.


  • Global Water Intelligence (GWI) Global Water Awards - Desalination Plant of the Year
  • Australian Water Association - Victorian Water Awards - Infrastructure Project Innovation Award


150bn litres

Water per year

18 million

Work hours


Construction workforce

Our People

Bruce Marks

Chief Engineer - Industrial Project Delivery

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David Papps

Beca Technical Fellow - Water

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Mark Nankervis

Beca Technical Fellow - Structures

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