4 May 2016

ACCIONA Agua has been awarded the contract for the construction and start-up of the Faro-Olhão wastewater treatment plant on the Algarve in southern Portugal that will provide a service to a population equivalent of 113,200. 

Using an advanced process of biological treatment, filtering and disinfection, the plant will have a flow rate of 28,149 cubic metres (m³) per day, with a peak of 3,942 m³ per hour. It is located one kilometre west of Olhão on a site of great natural beauty, and its construction will mean the rehabilitation of the surrounding territory and landscape. The completion period for the project is 965 days, including 365 days dedicated to start-up. 

Nereda WWTP Faro, Portugal

Image: Artist impression of the Faro Olhão Nereda WWTP

Energy saving 

The Faro-Olhão WWTP will be the first one in which ACCIONA Agua will use Nereda technology, an innovative method of treating wastewater that can be applied to both new and existing plants. In particular, it allows older plants to increase their capacity and improve their performance and it is an excellent solution for the very oldest ones, where greater demands in wastewater processes or treatment mean high energy consumption.

Thanks to this new technology it has been possible to reduce the plant’s carbon footprint by 50%, and an energy saving of between 20% and 30% in the energy consumed in the water treatment process is expected. The plant also has solar panels that, with an installed capacity of 50 kW, will produce energy for use by auxiliary services.

First succes of cooperation

This contract is the first succes in the cooperation between Royal HaskoningDHV and ACCIONA Agua, who have signed a Cooperation Agreement to deliver Nereda® wastewater treatment technology to Spain and Portugal on 30 November in Madrid, Spain.

Implementing the Nereda technologies in these facilities, while maintaining the footprint and reusing existing buildings, is the most viable solution at present for ACCIONA Agua. In addition, for new installations these advantages certainly create a fundamental spur to encourage installation”, said Alejandro Zarzuela, Technical and Technology Innovation Director of ACCIONA Agua. 

ACCIONA Agua forms part of the ACCIONA Group, one of Spain’s leading corporations with operations across infrastructure, energy, water and services in over 30 countries. Its corporate motto “Pioneers in development and sustainability” reflects a commitment throughout all its activities. The Nereda process, which requires no chemicals and consumes up to half the energy of conventional plants, is a solution which is closely aligned to ACCIONA’s objectives. 

René Noppeney, Royal HaskoningDHV Global Director Water Products & Innovation said: “This agreement will make a difference to the wastewater market in Spain and Portugal. It is great that ACCIONA has chosen our innovative Nereda technology. For us this is a major step forward, following the successful introduction of our technology in markets such as Australia, Brazil, India, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Switzerland and the UK.