The purified recycled water from Bundamba AWT plant was piped from the plant via a 7.3-kilometer, 800-millimeter-diameter pipeline into the lake at the CS Energy Swanbank Power Station near Ipswich. The continual water flow will reduce the power station’s reliance on the drought-affected Wivenhoe Dam and will ensure that the power station remains available to support Southeast Queensland’s growing electricity needs in the midst of severe water shortages.
The Bundamba AWT plant forms part of the Western Corridor project, which is constructing a network of 200 kilometers of underground pipelines and three new advanced water treatment plants. The venture, the third-largest advanced water treatment project in the world, will help secure drinking water supplies in Queensland into the future, while at the same time minimizing environmental impact on the state.
In a joint statement issued on August 23, the Queensland State Premier Peter Beattie and the Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure Anna Bligh said that the project team had delivered a world-class recycled water asset in record time and had set a new benchmark in the construction industry.
“The Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant is evidence of world’s best practice and is a key part of the Government’s plan to accept wastewater from Goodna and Bundamba wastewater treatment plants and convert it into purified recycled water,” Premier Beattie said in the statement. “While many said it couldn’t be done, purified recycled water was delivered to Swanbank Power Station as promised.”
Visiting the Bundamba plant earlier in the week, Deputy Premier Bligh said commissioning of the microfiltration, reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation units had undergone a stringent commissioning process.
“Consistent with the high level of treatment provided, the plant has floor-to-ceiling specialist piping equipment, chemical storage tanks, transmission and storage systems, databanks and a control room where the entire process is continuously monitored,” she said.
Later in the day of the visit, Deputy Premier Bligh presented the first bottle of water produced from the plant to the Queensland State Parliament.
The Bundamba AWT plant, delivered by a Thiess/Black & Veatch joint venture, started only 10 months ago and has achieved ambitious targets. What could have been a logistical challenge was instead a meticulously planned, managed and executed project that delivered what it promised.
“We’re very pleased and proud that along with Thiess, our joint venture partner, we are very close to completing the design, construction and commissioning of this major advanced water treatment plant to a high standard, safely and quickly,” said Ralph Eberts, Managing Director for Black & Veatch’s water business in the Asia Pacific region.
“As part of our integrated global workforce deployed on this project, we have some 60 professionals representing about 20 nationalities. These professionals are located on site in Bundamba and Black & Veatch’s global design and resource centres in Singapore, Hong Kong, India, the UK and the United States,” he explained. “Our global approach to local project execution is a key part of getting this advanced technology project delivered on time.”
The Bundamba AWT plant uses the latest membrane and advanced oxidation technologies to provide purified recycled water for cooling and other processes at the Swanbank Power Station. The main treatment steps – ultrafiltration membranes, reverse osmosis membranes followed by advanced oxidation using ultraviolet irradiation and hydrogen peroxide employed at the plant – represent the gold standard for water reclamation.
To reach the first milestone, the Bundamba AWT workforce worked for about 490,000 hours, excavated more than 103,000 cubic meters of earthworks and replaced it with engineering fill. They then poured 18,000 cubic meters of concrete, connected 90 kilometers of electrical installation cables and used 3,900 tonnes of reinforcement structural steel along with transporting and installing six control and switch rooms, two of these exceeding 80 tonnes.
Challenges were met on a daily basis, including completing one of the largest transport movements in Southeast Queensland with the delivery and installation of two clarified tanks measuring more than 12 meters in length, 8.3 meters in width and weighing more than 20 tonnes each.
“We deployed our global technology experts and industry specialists on the consultancy and strategic stages of the Western Corridor Recycled Water project,” said William Yong, Vice President, who is responsible for leading Black & Veatch’s water business in Australia.
“As a result, we were able to develop an optimized treatment strategy for the whole of the Western Corridor scheme, which resulted in significant project savings while also helping to provide a higher quality of life to the community,” said Yong.