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Industrial Water Project of the Year

For the project, commissioned in 2015, that represents the most impressive technical or environmental achievement in the field of industrial water.

Northern WTP, Australia

What is it?

A 100,000m³/d plant treating produced water piped from Queensland Gas Corporation’s coal seam gas extraction operation near Wandoan. The treated effluent is reused by local industry and farmers.

Who is responsible?

An alliance of GE and Laing O’Rourke built and commissioned the A$550 million (US$390 million) plant on behalf of client Queensland Gas Corporation (QGC), part of BG Group, which is now owned by Royal Dutch Shell.

What makes it special?

The Northern WTP is the biggest of a trio of produced water treatment plants commissioned by QGC to treat saline water produced as part of the coal seam gas extraction process. It uses submerged and pressure ultrafiltration, ion exchange (IX), and three-stage reverse osmosis followed by brine concentration, meaning that only 3% of the influent stream ends up being rejected.

The plant’s remote location meant that it was imperative to utilise the latest offsite construction techniques in order to streamline the construction process and minimise the impact on the local environment. The pipe racks were manufactured so as to allow a ‘plug and play’ approach using a pre-defined installation sequence, and were trucked in according to carefully timed transport envelopes, eliminating the need for police escorts and pilot vehicles.


Meanwhile, three 120-tonne brine concentrators were manufactured offsite in New Zealand before being shipped to Brisbane, trucked to the site, and installed using one of the largest mobile cranes in Australia.

The debate over coal seam gas produced water has been raging for years in Australia. A practical, pragmatic solution such as this cuts through the rhetoric to the heart of the problem, enhancing QGC’s social licence to operate through its emphasis on responsible treatment and reuse.


Changxing Power Plant ZLD facility, China

What is it?

A forward osmosis (FO) based zero liquid discharge (ZLD) water recovery system at Huaneng Power’s 1.3GW coal power plant in Changxing, China. The system became operational in April 2015.

Who is responsible?

The system was designed, deployed, and commissioned by Oasys Water and Beijing Woteer. Oasys implemented its proprietary membrane brine concentrator (MBC) and pre-concentrating reverse osmosis (RO) technologies, while Beijing Woteer acted as lead contractor.

What makes it special?

Stricter emissions and discharge standards in China have forced companies like Huaneng Power to incorporate sophisticated water treatment technologies into their power plant designs. The wastewater treatment plant at the company’s power installation in Changxing uses Oasys’ desalination technology to treat a combined stream of flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) blow-down and cooling tower blow-down wastewater. To meet the discharge limits, all liquid is reused as boiler make-up water. This is the first commercial application of an FO-based ZLD system in China.

The system was optimised to ensure stability over a wide range of water quality and flow conditions, given the shared draw solution. It can treat flows ranging from 15–26 m³/hour, and water quality of 25,000–40,000 mg/L TDS from the power plant’s wet FGD scrubbers.


The high turn-down ratio and wide operating windows were important factors in the selection of Oasys-Woteer’s solution over evaporator-based designs.

The operation of Changxing’s ZLD system coincides with China’s implementation of a national Water Pollution Action Plan which focuses on industrial wastewater pollution. Changxing’s use of advanced treatment technology meets the new standards, setting a benchmark for future projects aiming for compliance. Oasys and Beijing Woteer have won three subsequent projects based on the successful operation of Changing.

The Global Water Awards 2018 is proudly sponsored by:

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