Environmental Protection

Australia Opens Centre of Excellence in Desalination

July 23 marked the official launch of the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination in Perth, Australia at Murdoch University’s Rockingham campus.

The Centre was established to provide research and development of desalination technologies and solutions to address Australia’s unique water needs. Last summer the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts provided funding for the Centre, and Murdoch University is the administering organization responsible for developing a research program, engaging partners and managing intellectual property frameworks.

The hub of the Centre will be a world-class desalination pilot-scale testing and research facility. This spring, CH2M Hill was appointed lead design consultant for the new pilot-scale testing and research facility.

“We congratulate the Australian Government on their support for the establishment of the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination,” says David Middleton, CH2M Hill’s Australia and New Zealand Regional Water Business Group manager. “The facility will provide the desalination industry with an opportunity to pilot unique applications or near-commercial development projects at a scale that can be confidently translated to an operating plant,” says Middleton. “It will be flexible, modular in design for testing multiple novel technologies, and it will be highly instrumented for researcher efficiency, scalability and reliability of results.”

The pilot-test desalination facility is expected to be operating by September 2011, in time for the International Desalination Association World Congress in Perth.

CH2M Hill also celebrated the opening of an office in Perth. To support its work in Western Australia, the firm's new office will service the needs of the Centre's project delivery team and the Water Corporation of Western Australia.

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