The $ 3.5 billion Victorian Desalination Project will deliver Australia’s biggest desalination plant with an initial production capacity of up to 444 million liters per day and the capability to expand to 548 million liters per day. The plant is connected by an 84 km pipeline to Melbourne’s existing water network and with 87 km of underground cable to the electricity grid.

More than 200 km of fiber optic cables will be installed along the pipeline and power line to monitor performance, allowing communication with the plant, and also providing capacity for future broadband connection for local communities. At the processing plant, plastic and fire-rated fibers were selected to avoid interference between the heavy machines and to ensure a fast equipment response time in milliseconds, which is crucial.

R&M was chosen for this project due to its high-quality products and known reliability, to ensure a future-proof investment and reliable communication flow in the years to come. The customer, Thiess Degrémont, was looking for a complete end-to-end solution partner for its FO connections. R&M was able to offer a customized solution to address Thiess Degrémont’s requirements, such as supplying cables in various lengths to avoid excessive material waste.

Thanks to its local presence and the regional supply chain hub in Singapore, R&M guarantees on-time delivery for customized solutions even within tight deadlines. One of Thiess Degrémont’s requirements was fire-rated and rodentprotected cables. R&M was able to provide both. R&M was also able to recommend Polymer Cladded Fiber (PCF) cables as an alternative to Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) to achieve longer communication distance inside the plant.

High flexibility and fast response time were major challenges faced. A largescale project like this requires extensive communication and interaction with large engineering departments.