Is The Tide Turning On Carlsbad Desal?

by The Editors on May 12, 2009

Desal-PlantIt’s turning into a pretty bad week for proposed desalination plant builders Poseidon Resources.

First, the California Coastal Commission is “rethinking their permit” after Executive Director Peter Douglas noticed that “information Poseidon provided that panel was inconsistent with information it provided the commission last year,” and that these changes could result in a larger fish kill, according to a Michael Burge story in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Then, experts quoted in a New York Times story claim that it will be very difficult if not impossible for Poseidon Resources to get financing for their Carlsbadistan project if stalled desal projects in Australia, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia are any indicator. While Poseidon says they could get financing in place in “six weeks.” Tom Pankratz, director of the International Desalination Association, said such a deal would fly in the face of an international trend of stalled projects.”

Pankratz noted that larger desalination projects in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Australia have been left flailing for financial partners at crucial junctures. He doubted Poseidon’s reality would be different. . . “Right now, financing is difficult for any large project, and desalination plants are no exception,” Pankratz said. “For them to say six weeks in this financial climate, that sounds optimistic to me.”

The project goes up for a vote at the San Diego Regional water board “at 9 a.m. Wednesday at 9174 Sky Park Ct. in San Diego,” according to the North County Times.

[Links: San Diego Union-Tribune and The New York Times and North County TImes]

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