Key Points: A Clayton Utz team worked alongside the AquaSure consortium
throughout the bidding process, providing strategic and commercial
advice on both the bidding documentation and financing arrangements
for the project.
Clayton Utz continues to consolidate its reputation as the legal
adviser of choice on Australia's largest and strategically
significant infrastructure projects, following the Victorian
Government's awarding to the AquaSure consortium of the
contract to build the country's largest desalination plant at
Wonthaggi in Victoria.
A Clayton Utz team worked alongside the AquaSure consortium
– comprising Suez Environnement, Degremont, Thiess and
Macquarie Capital Group – throughout the bidding process,
providing strategic and commercial advice on both the bidding
documentation and financing arrangements for the project.
The AquaSure consortium will finance, design, construct, operate
and maintain the multibillion dollar desalination plant via a
Public Private Partnership with the Victorian Government, including
an 84-kilometre transfer pipeline to connect to Melbourne's
existing network and undertaking various related renewable energy
projects in order to fully offset the electricity used by the
project. The project is the largest PPP being undertaken globally
since the global financial crisis began.
In a multidisciplinary and cross-office effort, Melbourne
projects partners Dan Fitts, Marcus Davenport and Naomi Kelly led
the Clayton Utz team that advised the AquaSure consortium on the
necessary project documentation, including the finalising and
signing of the Project Deed in late July as part of the bid
Meanwhile debt finance partner Simon Irvine and corporate
partner Brendan Groves advised on the complex debt funding and
equity arrangements for the project, which involved consideration
and documentation of innovative structures to secure finance for
the project in a challenging market.
The project contract has now reached financial close, and the
AquaSure consortium will begin construction of the plant and
associated infrastructure. Work has already commenced on the
The team was pleased to have advised the AquaSure consortium on
a project of such strategic significance to Victoria in meeting its
future water needs. We congratulate AquaSure on securing the
contract for this important project and will continue to work
alongside it as it enters the construction phase of the
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