Environment & Science

Huntington Beach desalination developer seeking engineering firm to build plant

Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach

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The company that wants to build a desalination plant in Huntington Beach is looking for an engineering firm to design and build the plant. The company still has a regulatory hurdle to clear before it can begin construction of the proposed facility.

Poseidon Resources has put the design and construction of the proposed desalination plant out for bid. Before construction can begin, the Connecticut-based company needs a coastal development permit from the California Coastal Commission.

Poseidon says it expects to get the permit and start construction late next year. The company already has permits from other regulatory agencies, and went through a lengthy approvals process with a similar facility in Carlsbad.

The Huntington Beach plant, if built, would convert seawater into 50 million gallons of drinking water a day.

Poseidon plans to build the desal plant on a 12-acre site near a popular beach — and next to the Huntington Beach gas-fired power plant. That plant’s two units are expected to be restarted as a backup energy source if the San Onofre nuclear plant remains offline.

Environmental groups say the desalination plant would harm marine life and foul ocean water.