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Industrial Water Project of the Year

For the project, commissioned in 2016, that represents the most impressive technical or environmental achievement in the field of industrial water.

Co-op Refinery Complex, Canada

What is it?

A 2MGD (7,570m³/d) wastewater reuse plant at the Co-op refinery complex (CRC) run by Federated Co-operatives Limited in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Who is involved?

The CRC invested approximately Can$200 million in a system that employs both low- and high-pressure membranes from GE to recycle all its wastewater for steam production. GE also supplies the site with specialty chemicals and monitoring solutions.

What makes it special?

Groundwater withdrawals by the CRC reached their regulatory limits when the capacity of the 100,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery was increased to 130,000 bpd in 2013, while the temporary nature of an emergency water supply agreement with the City of Regina meant the CRC was under pressure to find a sustainable long-term solution. Complaints from local residents about odour emissions linked to the discharge of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) added further impetus.

The solution combines live bacteria, a ZeeWeed membrane bioreactor, and a high-efficiency reverse osmosis system – all supplied by GE – allowing the refinery to reuse 100% of its wastewater, which is then used to produce steam for heating, hydrogen production, cooling towers, and to power equipment.


The commissioning of the plant enabled the CRC to reduce its freshwater usage by 28%, and by becoming the first refinery in North America to recycle 100% of its wastewater for steam production, it was also able to reduce VOC emissions in its wastewater ponds, simultaneously solving the attendant odour problem. The outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability is a enduring template for the entire oil refining industry.


ETHYDCO ZLD Plant, Egypt

What is it?

An 912 m³/hr zero liquid discharge plant installed at a petroleum derivatives production facility in Alexandria, Egypt.

Who is involved?

Aquatech International provided design services and supplied the key treatment equipment. Enppi was the main construction contractor. The client was Ethydco (Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Company).

What makes it special?

One of the biggest challenges was to design a system robust enough to cope with the plant’s high feedwater variability. The result is a facility capable of operating under seven pre-defined scenarios in response to changing site conditions. Central to the treatment plant is Aquatech’s high-efficiency reverse osmosis system, which operates at a 97.5% recovery rate, reducing the size of the energy-consumptive brine concentrator and crystalliser. The plant also incorporates Aquatech’s BioCORE fluidised bed bioreactor technology, and the company’s FEDI (fractional electrodeionisation) process to demineralise the permeate.


With Egypt’s drinking water resources under severe strain, Ethydco’s decision to build a ZLD facility to reuse treated effluent as process water and for cooling tower makeup not only substantially reduces the pollution load on the Nile, but scales down the plant’s dependence on the river for its day-to-day operational needs by 70%.

ZLD plants are a rarity in the MENA region, and this is Egypt’s first. Ethydco has achieved an outstanding double whammy for the environment by slashing both its abstraction requirements and its environmental discharges. It is an important and replicable breakthrough for a region which depends so heavily on the oil economy.

The Global Water Awards 2018 is proudly sponsored by:

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