Upgraded wastewater treatment plant will be source of renewable energy for UK's National Grid

REDHILL, UK, Jan. 6, 2010 -- One of the UK's largest wastewater treatment works (WwTW) is set to become a valuable source of renewable energy...

Jan 6th, 2010

• Black & Veatch awarded £75 million scheme to enhance sludge treatment at Davyhulme

REDHILL, UK, Jan. 6, 2010 -- One of the UK's largest wastewater treatment works (WwTW) is set to become a valuable source of renewable energy. The benefits of a major upgrade at Davyhulme WwTW in Manchester include the generation of electricity from biogas and the potential to provide a sustainable source of soil improver.

Design and construction of the upgraded treatment facility will be undertaken by Black & Veatch as Principal Contractor under United Utilities' Sludge Balanced Asset Programme. Improvements will double sludge treatment capacity and process biosolids to such a high standard that they have the potential to be reused as fertilizer. The project will also produce biogas sufficient to generate electricity for running the new treatment process and for feeding into the National Grid.

Pete Robinson, United Utilities program manager, said, "Sludge treatment is a 24-hour process, so there is a continuous supply of biogas. It is a very valuable resource and it is completely renewable. By harnessing this energy we can reduce our fuel bills and reduce our carbon footprint."

The contract builds on Black & Veatch's expertise in innovative biogas energy projects. According to Steve Canney, Black & Veatch Senior Vice President, "We have leading experience in optimizing the environmental benefits of advanced sludge treatment plants, such as using the Cambi process selected for Davyhulme. This is an opportunity for us to help United Utilities achieve its carbon dioxide reduction targets by extracting more of the energy available in sewage sludge."

The contract is planned to begin in early 2010 with initial operation in autumn 2011 and completion in late 2012.

Technical notes:

• The £75 million sludge treatment contract includes sludge reception, thickening and blending facilities; Cambi thermal hydroloysis process; sludge digestion and sludge dewatering facilities
• The plant will process biosolids that can be applied to land as fertilizer or a feedstock to the Mersey Valley Sludge Processing Centre and the process will produce biogas that will be used in a combined heat and power plant to generate up to 10 megawatts of electricity.
• The renewable energy source provided by the new installation at Davyhulme will contribute towards the UK's target of 15 percent of all energy supplied by the National Grid coming from renewable sources by 2020.
• The project will be delivered by Black & Veatch under Contract 2 of United Utilities Sludge Balanced Asset Programme and forms part of a regional strategy for the sustainable disposal of sludge and using existing assets whenever possible.
• The plant is expected to handle around 91,000 tons of dry solids per year.
• The thermal hydrolosis plant will increase capacity of existing digesters by nearly 130 percent and allow United Utilities to import and treat sludge from other treatment plants in north-west England.
• Davyhulme WwTW has been in operation since 1894 and serves a population equivalent of 1.2 million in and around the city of Manchester.

About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company specializing in infrastructure development in energy, water, telecommunications, management consulting, federal and environmental markets. Founded in 1915, Black & Veatch develops tailored infrastructure solutions that meet clients' needs and provide sustainable benefits. Solutions are provided from the broad line of service expertise available within Black & Veatch, including conceptual and preliminary engineering services, engineering design, procurement, construction, financial management, asset management, program management, construction management, environmental, security design and consulting, management consulting and infrastructure planning. With $3.2 billion in revenue, the employee-owned company has more than 100 offices worldwide and has completed projects in more than 100 countries on six continents. Web: www.bv.com

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