July 1, 2012

Wastewater Recycling ZLD Contract Awarded in Turkmenistan

A wastewater recycling plant has been commissioned in a gas field development project in Turkmenistan to treat 120 cubic meters per hour using Zero liquid Discharge (ZLD) technology.

Water purification firm Aquatech will provide its High Efficiency Reverse Osmosis (HERO) technology to achieve 90% recovery of the total wastewater. ZLD was selected because effluents cannot be discharged around the facility area and full reuse was mandated as the required option.

Aquatech was awarded this project based on previous experience treating difficult wastewater, such as refinery wastewater, using the HERO process. The plant is expected to be completed in one year.

Anaerobic treatment to produce energy from animal waste

A company processing animal waste and facing challenges with nitrogen removal from wastewater is expected to save the equivalent energy consumption of 3000 households after partnering with Dutch water technology company Paques.

A new wastewater treatment plant will be constructed that will treat wastewater currently produced in Rendec Son's factory, part of VION Ingredients, where animal waste is converted into biofuel, mainly used in power plants. This wastewater was previously treated in a conventional treatment plant.

A combination of anaerobic treatment and Paques' ANAMMOX process (in which nitrogen is removed) will be used. Produced biogas will be converted into both electricity and heat in a combined heat and power plant (CHP).

Roel van den Borne, project leader on behalf of VION Ingredients, said: "The nitrogen in the wastewater was a bottleneck for successful application of this treatment in the Rendac process. It is very difficult to remove nitrogen with traditional processes. The ANAMMOX® process has proven itself over the last decade. In cooperation with Paques, the feasibility of the combination of these techniques in our specific case was shown."

It is hoped the new facility will enable a yearly reduction of 1,600 tons of CO2 emissions.

Water utility contract firm sold in UK after racking up heavy debt

Administrators have been called in to water industry contracting company WF Utilities & Groundworks after the firm reportedly racked up £400,000 of debt.

Established as a specialist contracting company in 2010, WF Utilities & Groundworks provided utility infrastructure and construction services for commercial, industrial, defence, local authority, water and gas utility sectors.

Water services provided by the company included leak location and repair, project management, drainage and sewers, legionella risk assessments and groundwater containment.

The company, which was based in Yeovil, Somerset, employed 24 subcontractors and two other members of staff and had an annual turnover of around £2 million.

On June 20 nationwide insolvency practitioners SFP were appointed as adminstrators.

Daniel Plant, Group Partner at SFP, said: "Companies in construction and related sectors are having a hard time of it at the moment, and unfortunately WF Utilities & Groundworks is yet another company that has struggled to maintain a healthy cashflow.

"After assessing the options available, I am pleased to confirm that a management buy-out was completed, which has safeguarded a number of positions within the firm," he continued.

"This is a very pleasing outcome and one that has ensured a continuation of service to clients of the business."

UK water business sold off by Veolia Environnement

In a landmark deal worth over £1 billion pound and a sign of how the UK's utilities are being quickly sold and acquired, Veolia Environnement has agreed to sell 90% of its UK water businesses.

The majority stake has been sold in its UK regulated water businesses Veolia Water Central, East and Southeast to Rift Acquisitions Limited for a total transaction value of £1, 236 million.

The group has retained its Veolia Water Outsourcing business and said it has established an exchange agreement to ensure "sharing of best practices and continued access to previously developed capabilities".

Industry pundits said the sale price was healthier than predicted.

Dr David Lloyd Owen, managing director of consultancy Envisager, told Water & Wastewater International magazine (WWi): "Veolia will have been pleased to get this price as the valuation was assumed to be closer to £1 billion when the sale was originally announced.

"The purchasers are buying the businesses on their presumed ability to generate dividends in the region of £45 to £64 million pa over a sustained period of time. We have seen a mixed record with private equity investors in the sector in the UK to date, some treating the companies as cash cows, others taking steps to take investment and performance ahead of their peers."

Olivier Bret, Veolia Water chief executive officer, said: "The sale will reduce the capital intensity of the group and in doing so create a platform that will allow the company to wholly focus on its commercial outsourcing business and continue to provide a valued service to our clients and partners."

Earlier this year the China Investment Corporation bought a 8.68% stake in UK utility giant, Thames Water.

US acquisition helps Danish pump firm diversify into water purification

In bid to diversify and generate more than one third of its income from non-pump solutions, global pump manufacturer Grundfos has acquired Enaqua, an American company specializing in the use of UV technology to disinfect water, and specialized membranes for water purification.

Enaqua was founded in 1985, headquartered in California and will continue to be managed by Manoj Jhawar, who is the second of three generations of the founder's family that works at the company.

It produces UV disinfection systems that range in sizes up to 100 million gallons per day for municipal and industrial disinfection requirements, and membrane separation systems to recover water and chemicals from process and municipal water sources. The sum of the acquisition was not disclosed in the formal announcement.

Carsten Bjerg, CEO of the Grundfos Group, said: "The new resources we are getting not only open up new business opportunities for Grundfos, they also help us contribute to alleviating the growing water problems worldwide."

Enaqua's Jhawar said: "For a number of years, we have rejected several potential buyers, as we did not find the right match. But with Grundfos it is quite another story, it is a larger version of what we are."

Wastewater treatment plant demonstrates Dutch granular bio-treatment

A wastewater treatment facility has been opened in the Dutch town of Epe which has been labeled a world first for full-scale municipal treatment using Nereda technology.

The full scale application comprises the selection of specific micro-organisms that grow in compact granules. The granular biomass settles quickly, which is said to make it easier to separate from the treated water.

The granular technology was invented at Delft University of Technology and the National Nereda Research Program was established as a joint effort by the university, DHV, STOWA and six Dutch water boards to bring the new technology to maturity.

The development of Nereda and its full-scale application in the Epe sewage treatment plant were partly funded by NL Agency under the InnoWATOR and Water Framework Directive innovation programs.

Other Nereda plants are under construction in the Netherlands for the Rijn & IJssel Water Board and the Regge & Dinkel Water Board, while in South Africa a Nereda plant is being built in the Stellenbosch region.

Joop Atsma, the Dutch State Secretary for Infrastructure and the Environment, who attended the opening ceremony, said: "The Netherlands can be proud of this invention. We are the first nation in the world to tackle water treatment in such an innovative manner. Because this technology consumes less energy, it is more sustainable and cheaper. The development of this technology stands as a perfect example of what can be achieved when the public sector, universities and the private sector come together to develop smart solutions."

The name Nereda derives from the Greek 'Neraida', a water nymph and daughter of Nereus, the Greek god of the sea. In Greek mythology Nereda represents the qualities of purity and immaculacy, a reference to the quality of water produced by the new technology.

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