On the slopes of the Koniambo mountain range nestles the largest open-cast nickel mine in New Caledonia.
A joint venture was created in 2006 to operate the mine: KONIAMBO Nickel SAS (KNS). The company rapidly grew to be a global nickel-producing giant. The plant is situated 900 metres beneath the mine and is of capital importance to this French overseas community. Nickel production accounts for 18% of GDP and 94% of exports from the Oceanian archipelago.
Particular attention is paid to the boilers and cooling systems of the mining complex, to ensure continuity of operations and future growth. The boilers and cooling systems consume vast amounts of high-quality water in order to function correctly.
In 2008, on an island of craggy bluffs in the middle of the South Pacific, KNS commissioned SUEZ to design, build and operate a seawater desalination system and a demineralised water production system.