Cape Hardy tops Northern Water destination

20th September 2023 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH ( – ASX-listed Iron Road on Wednesday welcomed independent findings provided to Infrastructure South Australia that showed the Cape Hardy site was the best performing site for the proposed large-scale Northern Water desalination project.

The Northern Water project aims to provide a new, climate-independent water source for the Far North, Upper Spencer Gulf and Eastern Eyre Peninsula regions in South Australia, and will serve mineral production and emerging green industriessuch as hydrogen, in addition to the defence and agriculture sectors.

The project would involve the construction and operation of a 260 Mℓ/d seawater desalination plant in the Spencer Gulf, which will be connected to northern South Australia through 600 km of pipeline.

A site selection process started in 2022, with three sites initially shortlisted. The Cape Hardy site was added to the shortlist in mid-2023, and during the formal muti-criteria assessment (MCA) process was identified as the best-performing site across the four options considered.

The results of the MCA process have been presented to the South Australian government to help inform the selection of a preferred site for detailed planning assessment.

Cape Hardy comprises 1 207 ha of undeveloped coastal land wholly owned by Iron Road.

Iron Road said on Wednesday that the state government was yet to make a decision on the location of the Northern Water project, but should it be a positive decision for Cape Hardy, and the company was able to reach a mutually agreement commercial arrangement, it was likely that the Northern Water project would lodge an early-stage development application for the plant.

A final decision on the project is expected in 2025.