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Australian Desalination plant operating at full capacity

Suez Environnement, Europe’s second- biggest water company by market value, said the desalination plant in Australia that was commissioned last month has reached full drinking water production capacity.

The plant that’s pumping water in Melbourne’s Cardinia reservoir has brought its second and third water production lines on stream, raising the flow produced to as much as 450,000 cubic meters a day, the facility’s maximum.

By bringing the three lines on stream “the final stage now involves passing a reliability test, which consists of running at full capacity for 30 days,” said Remi Lantier, chief executive officer of Degremont, Suez’s water treatment subsidiary.

The Paris-based company, which supplies 30 percent of Australia’s drinking water, has taken 322 million euros ($415 million) of provisions on the Melbourne project due to delays and cost overruns caused by strikes and bad weather.

After the 30-day test, Degremont under terms of the contract is due to hand over the facility to operating and maintenance teams to manage the plant for 27 years.

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