Interserve are the preferred supplier on two water projects, including a consortium project that will deliver a £200m desalination plant in the Thames.

Support services group Interserve has been named the preferred supplier for two water contracts worth £150m, including £50m of work at a new water treatment plant in the Thames.

The £200m Thames Gateway Water Treatment Plant is the first desalination plant in London and will abstract drinking water from salt water in the Thames. Interserve is part of a consortium which includes Spanish company Pridesa, Atkins Water and Thames Water.

The Severn Trent framework contract will be for a five-year period commencing April 2005.

Interserve Plc director John Vyse said: “We have had long and successful associations with both Severn Trent and Thames Water and are very aware of the strategic importance of these developments in providing their customers with long-term, high-quality water supplies and wastewater treatment facilities.”

The water treament plant will be able to supply up to £150 million litres of water a day, which is enough for 400,000 households. Trials are already being undertaken in a pilot plant on site.

Work is expected to start on the £200m project at end of 2004 and be completed in 2007 subject to planning approval by London Borough of Newham.