Recommissioning the Sydney Desalination Plant


The Sydney Desalination Plant (SDP) has been in ‘water security’ mode since 2012. In December 2015, a tornado swept through Kurnell, causing significant damage to the plant. After an extensive rebuild which saw over 34,000 assets inspected, tested and repaired or replaced, the plant required recommissioning and testing to ensure all assets, subsystems and systems are ready to respond to a drought trigger when it occurs – effectively the plant back into operations.

Services Offered

  • Extensive review and update to previous commissioning documentation to reflect the 2012 status of the plant
  • Lead commissioning engineers for the chemical dosing systems, inlet system, pre-treatment including dual media filtration and wastewater/ sludge treatment systems
  • Filter media condition assessment, including overseeing sample collection, analysis of test results and development of summary report with recommendations
  • Preparation of commissioning documents during the rebuild phase (inspection and testing check sheets, inspection and testing plans, commissioning method statements, safe work method statements)
  • Lead commissioning engineers in the following areas (with support from other CWT and Veolia commissioning engineers):
    • Chemical dosing systems
    • Pre-treatment dual media filters and associated systems
    • Drinking water tank and pump station
    • Waste water handling
    • Service water and compressed air
  • Liaison and coordination with the Veolia operations and maintenance team to complete recommissioning within the required timeframe
  • Completion of recommissioning workpacks for submission to SDP owners and Independent Verifier (IV) for review and acceptance


The operations and maintenance contractor for SDP did not have sufficient man power to mobilise quickly in order to meet the exhaustive project requirements for recommissioning a 45-hectare site with over 34,000 assets.


CWT was able to mobilise quickly, bridge the technical gap and ensure a collaborative and efficient team to achieve successful project outcomes and deadlines.


With the whole of NSW currently drought affected, the project team completed the recommissioning activities within the required timeframe, allowing the plant to be restarted if required.