Asserting that desalinated water will replace just over 20% of the 7gltrs of Murray supplies it draws on annually, OneSteel says that the 1.1gltr desalination plant being planned at Whyalla in South Australia will have no impact on salinity in the upper Spencer Gulf.

The steelworks is to start constructing the plant within weeks. Mr Mark Parry CEO of OneSteel said that unlike proposals from other companies to build 100gltr plants in the Gulf, the only effects on the environment from its project will be positive.

The intention is to reduce OneSteel’s reliance on the Murray given environmental concerns, but also to insure there is sufficient water to manage and ramp up operations in the future. Mr. Parry said that the brine discharge will be filtered and diluted before being put back into the sea.