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NEWS: Ontario Teachers Pension Plan buys desalination plant in Australia

In May 2012, Global Water Intelligence reported, “The big infra deal of the month was the sale of Sydney (Australia) Water’s Kurnell desalination plant to Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and two funds managed by Hastings Funds Management” under a Aus$2.3 billion, 50-year lease agreement.

In a December 2008 interview for Australian Options magazine, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow stated, “My nightmare for Australia in 30 years is a parched land ringed by dozens of giant desalination plants on the coast, destroying local coral reefs and fishing grounds. While there is a place for small scale desalination, it is a mistake to put our faith in a technology that is energy intensive, very expensive and a major polluter.” Speaking at Sydney University’s Ideas Forum that year, Barlow described desalination as “highly polluting”, a “very, very short sighted answer” to the global water crisis, and highlighted that “it is expensive, it’s energy-intensive, and it creates more global warming of course because of emissions.”

A July 2007 protest against the then-proposed Kurnell desalination plant. Photo by Peter Rae/ Sydney Morning Herald. The Kurnell Desalination Plant