Water desalination plant



The project to construct a large combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in Latin America involved the installation of a desalination water treatment plant. A dispute arose in relation to delay completing the desalination plant and alleged defects.


HKA was retained by the manufacturer and supplier of the desalination equipment to provide expert witness services in an arbitration. The main contractor alleged that a series of technical works had not been completed properly, preventing the desalination plant from operating as specified, and delaying the power plant’s commissioning and handover.

What we did

The HKA expert – a specialist in desalination plants from our Forensic Technical Services team – reviewed the contract, specifications and design of the desalination plant, which provided clean water for various applications from cooling to boiler water supply. He also examined records of the works and operational performance data, along with other evidence.

Drawing on more than 35 years’ experience in water treatment processes – ranging from R&D and water utility management to construction and consultancy – his expert report established that the technical issues experienced on commissioning were within normal operating parameters for plants of this type. It was standard industry practice to rectify these matters during the manufacturer’s warranty period.

The report also rebutted the main contractor’s contention that when operating in ‘automatic’ mode, the plant should not require supervision and regular maintenance.


The expert found there were no valid grounds for withholding moneys owing to the water treatment plant supplier. Our client and the contractor were subsequently able to reach a settlement.

Project Details
  • Client
    Water desalination plant provider
  • Year
    2021 - 2022
  • Value
  • Services
    Forensic Engineering, Architectural and Technical, Expert
  • Sectors
    Construction and Engineering, Power and Utilities




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