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A Northern Territory company has been awarded a construction tender for the Manton Dam Return to Service project, including a new 20ML per day pumping station.

Exact Contracting was awarded the $134 million contract to deliver the project.

The Manton Dam Return to Service project is part of Stage 1 of the Darwin Region Water Supply Program, which includes the Adelaide River Off-Stream Water Storage (AROWS) project.

The Territory Labor Government and Power and Water are delivering the Program in partnership with the Federal Government’s National Water Grid which has committed more than $300 million to support the delivery of the first stage.

During the peak of construction, it is estimated that the contract will provide more than 250 local jobs, with construction set to commence in late 2024.

Manton Dam is expected to continue to be a recreational resource for the Darwin community. A recreation management plan for the reservoir is set to be developed and the new Strauss Water Treatment plant is expected to ensure the dam meets stringent drinking water quality standards with new technology.

When the project is complete, Manton Dam will provide an estimated additional 7,300ML per year into the Darwin region water supply system.

The Manton Dam Return to Service project includes:

  • Upgrade of the existing intake tower and the construction of a new 20ML per day pumping station at Manton Dam
  • A 22km 600mm pipeline from Manton to Strauss (at Stuart Highway/Cox Peninsula Road)
  • Construction of a new 20ML per day water treatment plant at Strauss

Power and Water has completed planning and approvals processes to prepare the project including the environmental referral through the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority.

The project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2026.

Northern Territory Chief Minister, Eva Lawler, said, “My team is investing in projects which support Territorians in work and this is what this $134 million tender is doing.

“It is vital we secure sustainable solutions that protect our environment and maintain our great Territory lifestyle.

“This project is a big step in securing the Territory’s water supply for the next fifty years, it is also a major step towards reaching our goal of a $40 billion economy by 2030.”

Northern Territory Minister for Essential Services, Kate Worden, said, “The AROWS project will play a major role in the Territory’s economic growth and reaching our goal of creating a $40 billion economy by 2030.

“The Territory Labor Government owns our power and water infrastructure and that is why we can make these investments to secure the drinking water and power supply of Territorians.”

Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, said, “Water is our most precious resource, and it is important that we continue to provide security for regions like Darwin in the Northern Territory.

“This project, in cooperation with the Northern Territory Government, will help to upgrade existing infrastructure at Manton Dam.

“We are continuing to work closely with our state and territory partners to identify, plan and deliver crucial projects that will provide water security for our kids and our grandkids.”  

Power and Water Executive General Manager Water Services, Stephen Vlahovic, said, “Power and Water is committed to delivering secure, reliable, and cost-effective drinking water for Territorians, now and into the future.

“Power and Water is looking forward to working with Exact Contracting to deliver this major water infrastructure project. Their successful tender submission met both the technical requirements of the project and incorporated a significant number of local businesses to deliver the works and was assessed as providing best value for the Territory.”

Image credit: Alan Hort/Shutterstock.com.

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