Investing in the Future of Water in our Transition to Clean Energy

Jun 03 , 2024

While water covers approximately 71% of the Earth, 96% of that is ocean water, and, interestingly, only 2.5 % is freshwater that is drinkable. But water has many benefits besides cooling us down or quenching our thirst.

Water can also be used to generate clean, renewable energy.  Hydropower, for example, can harness the energy of water from reservoirs and rivers. Hydropower reservoirs can have multiple uses such as providing drinking water, water for irrigation, flood, and drought control, as well as energy supply.

It is why the Tasmanian Government’s ‘Battery of the Nation’ plan to maximise hydropower capacity is vital for supplying future energy needs for the state and nation.

“Hydropower and other clean energy projects are critical for the future of individual states and Australia as a collective,” Matthew Brook, Managing Director, MBB Group, said.

“Our in-depth understanding of the market landscape and commercial complexities – including addressing market competition and attractiveness in the face of extremely constrained supply chain – has enhanced our ability to be engaged as the primary provider of commercial and transaction management services. We are also a preferred advisor on a wide range of the most complex major contemporary infrastructure projects and enabling projects across the nation.

“MBB’s knowledge of government projects and processes, and reputation for collaboration and integrity with its clients, in individual states and generally across Australia is unparalleled.  We continue to be engaged as the primary provider of development, transaction management services and preferred advisor on a wide range of the most complex major contemporary and complex infrastructure projects.”

Australia-wide leadership on energy and complex infrastructure

Tasmania’s nation-leading energy policies and collaborative encouragement of industry investment has enabled the state to reach its 100% renewable target, however, it is not the only state actively targeting renewable energy projects to help transition Australia from a fossil fuel base to innovative new energy solutions.

The Commonwealth Government has recently announced the first feasibility licences for offshore wind projects off the coast of Gippsland, Victoria, as Geelong, Hastings and Portland are vying for offshore wind projects in the state, while through the $100 million Commonwealth Government funding commitment to the Clean Energy Precinct, the Port of Newcastle in NSW will support all hydrogen, and clean energy projects in the Hunter by providing land, utilities, storage, transport and export infrastructure and services.

Ports infrastructure planning

Port infrastructure planning is becoming increasingly important to enable renewable energy projects to function through freight, logistics and construction staging.  The NSW Government also has a plan, ‘NSW Ports 2063’ that focuses on improving the movement and accessibility of Port Botany and Port Kembla for importing and exporting across Australia and the world.

In Victoria, the Port of Melbourne 2050 Port Development Strategy will optimise existing facilities and built infrastructure, combined with targeted delivery of new infrastructure, enabling Australia’s busiest port – open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – to cater for trade growth and services and for increased freight, logistics and container capacity for Victoria and across Australia.

“State-wide water and port infrastructure projects are vital for the future needs of Australians,” Brook said. “That’s why the MBB team love to work on these types of projects as we are able to draw on a deep resource pool of highly credentialed and experienced transaction, commercial and technical managers across Australia to ensure continuity of key personnel and underpinned by a national brand to deliver on our commitment to resource scalability, responsiveness and balancing to best meet the transaction management service requirements.”

State investment in water

Queensland and South Australia are also embarking upon major water infrastructure projects. The Queensland Government’s Strategic Water Infrastructure Plan will provide an overview of new and emerging priority projects facing the state in the next 15 years. Projects include enhancing dam safety and improvement, boosting urban water security, and upgrading regional economic development and commercial projects. The South Australia Government is prioritising an extensive water supply infrastructure project to secure an alternate, sustainable supply of water to eastern Eyre Peninsula and the Far North of South Australia. While Sydney Water is investing $34 billion over the next 10 years to renew existing assets and deliver fresh investments.

“The MBB team focus on a proactive risk-based approach to its development, commercial and transaction services that minimises future potential claims and variation and provides a value for money outcome for all infrastructure client owners,” Brook said.

MBB Group’s broad experience across all contracting models – PPP, D&C, ITC, EPC, EPCM, Alliance, PPP, DBOM and Partnering Models – in the infrastructure, built form and resource industries, enhances its capabilities to deliver value for clients across the private and public sectors through applying their contemporary industry insights, practices, and lessons on these specific types of renewable energy, water, and ports projects.

Four key areas

“Our four key service lines are infrastructure strategy, development, delivery and operations,” Brook said.

“Clients reliably inform us that they value our specialist support in complex problem solving; adopting a risk based approach; identifying key issues and implementing the right decisions by planning and delivering whole-of-life value, as well as developing a strategic and integrated approach in order to deliver projects on time and budget, which includes proactive asset management to enable optimum commercial return on investment.”

For further information on how we can help please contact:

Peter Jones
Executive Director – Southern Region

Katrina Street
Executive Director – Northern Region

Rob Fields
Executive Director – Growth Services
Australia / Asia / Pacific