Suez Environnement to desalinate seawater in China

Updated: 2012-12-05 16:49

By Meng Jing (

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WONTHAGGI, Australia - Suez Environnement, one of the world's largest water and waste service company by revenue, plans to enter China’s desalination market by tendering projects in two coastal cities in the next two to three years, said the company’s chief executive officer.

“We are preparing to tender desalination projects in Tianjin municipality and Qingdao in East China’s Shandong province,” Jean-Louis Chaussade, CEO of the Paris-based Suez Environnement, said in Australia in a recent interview.

Visiting several of the company’s projects in Australia, including the world’s largest desalination plant at Wonthaggi, Melbourne, Chaussade said the company has a plan to become a major player in China by helping the country turn seawater into drinking water.

He refused to reveal the details of the two pending projects in Tianjin and Qingdao but confirming that they are both small- to medium-sized projects with capacities to produce 100,000 to 200,000 cubic meter of drinking water per day. The company’s large Wonthaggi project is able to produce 450, 000 cu m per day.

Apart from the Wonthaggi project, which cost 3.5 billion Australian dollars ($3.65 billion) for construction, Suez Environnement has desalination plants in the cities of Sydney, Perth and Adelaide too, as well as other water and waste management projects in Australia.

Chaussade said that when he made his first trip to Australia in 2000, all the authorities he met said Australia would never need seawater desalination projects.

“Now, there are big desalination projects in almost all the major cities in Australia. I’m pretty sure China will need that very soon,” he said, adding the development of desalination market just began in China.

He said the company would probably see the first desalination project in China in the next two to three years, though no timetable for the tendering of the two projects in Tianjin and Qingdao is confirmed.

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