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Geelong Advertiser: Shell to stay, as Libs back recycling plant

Rebecca Tucker

23 Jun 2007

GEELONG has been promised a $64 million water recycling plant with Shell Australia confirming its future in the city.

The plant, funded four ways between the State and Federal governments, Barwon Water and Shell, will lead to savings of at least 2000 megalitres of drinking water a year, or about 5 per cent of Geelong’s annual water use

Federal Water Minister Malcolm Turnbull will today announce the project, the first of its kind for Australia, when he visits Geelong.

It will also mean 1000 megalitres less of waste water discharge to both the Black Rock ocean outfall and to Corio Bay from the Shell refinery.

The announcement comes on the back of Shell’s personal written pledge to Mr Turnbull of its long-term commitment to Geelong.

A spokesman for Mr Turnbull said Shell Australia chairman Russell Caplan had assured the Minister the company had no intentions of abandoning its Geelong refinery.

Shell’s commitment to Geelong comes after reports last month the company had not guaranteed its position in the town beyond a year.

Mr Turnbull said the recycling plant would be “strategically located” in “a key industrial area of Geelong to substitute potable water with recycled water from trade waste and effluent for use at the Shell refinery”.

He said the project would demonstrate a water authority-private sector partnership approach to cost-effectively provide recycled water for industrial use.

Barwon Water and Federal and State governments will each put in $12.5 million towards the project, while Shell will contribute $26.25 million.

Mr Turnbull said the Geelong project would be the first reclamation plant in Australia designed and constructed as an integral component of both a water conservation program and a major industry water recycling scheme.

Corangamite MP Stewart McArthur said the recycling scheme would have  important environmental benefits as it would reduce pressure on potable water supplies and discharge to local waterways.

The Australian Government Water Fund is a $2.2 billion investment in water solutions.

http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/article/2007/06/23/4875_news.html

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