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Industrial Water Project of the Year: Shortlist

For the project, commissioned in 2017, that represents the most impressive technical or environmental achievement in the field of industrial water.

Shortlisted Nominees


ABF Ovaltine Effluent Treatment Plant, Thailand

What is it?

A new facility to treat the effluent from Associated British Foods’ (ABF) Ovaltine manufacturing plant near Bangkok, Thailand. The plant has a peak capacity of 1,200m3/d.

Who is involved?

Veolia completed the turnkey project on behalf of owner ABF Thailand. The French giant provided the initial design, and undertook the civil, electric and mechanical contracting by itself. The plant showcases Veolia’s suite of in-house technologies, and incorporates a Biothane UASB anaerobic treatment step, an MBBR system from AnoxKaldnes, and a Hydrotech drum filter.

What makes it special?

With only a limited land envelope available, Veolia’s compact solution allowed ABF to avoid relocating its production facility, saving vital capex and potential disruption to the production of one of Thailand’s favourite nutritional drinks. The tight plot required a bespoke design which involves a configuration of state-of-the-art technologies that is unique in the Thai food processing industry.

Significant fluctuations in the organic loads entering the plant’s wastewater stream required a flexible approach in order to reduce COD from 11,500 mg/L right down to 120 mg/L, rendering it suitable for discharge to the environment. The project also marks the first time an MBBR train has been used in an industrial wastewater treatment plant in Thailand.


The onsite generation of biogas partially offsets the need for natural gas to power the plant, reducing the opex cost to the client, and giving rise to valuable tax breaks on the grounds of sustainability. The French-sourced treatment equipment resulted in further exemptions on import duty, demonstrating the inherent value of buying in the best technology available in the market today.


Arla Foods Milky Water Reuse, Denmark

What is it?

A wastewater treatment plant at the Rødkærsbro dairy in Denmark, enabling the biological treatment of milky water to allow 50% on-site wastewater reuse.

Who is involved?

Arla Foods, Europe’s second-largest dairy company, owns the factory at Rødkærsbro. The company appointed Grundfos to supply the technical expertise and equipment for the project, including its BioBooster PBR (pressurised biofilm reactor) technology.

What makes it special?

Arla Foods had been facing increasing discharge costs for its wastewater due to a pollution-based fee formula implemented by the local municipality. Set in a densely populated area, the solution had to be cost-effective, space-saving, and environmentally friendly. The BioBooster plant is completely odour-free, with all vents incorporating activated carbon filters. In addition, the system fits neatly within a tight 62m2 footprint.

This pilot project introduces the concept of the “waterless dairy”, where all the water required to manufacture the end products arrives with the raw milk. The impact is already being felt on a wider scale, with the local municipality now considering the technology as a viable solution for the decentralised treatment of wastewater streams generated by other industrial concerns.


A co-located biogas plant collects the sludge and turns it into energy at no cost to the dairy, thus reducing operating costs and underscoring Arla Foods’ commitment to the circular economy. It is a shining example of how home-grown technology can contribute to the Danish government’s ambitious goal of generating 100% of its power from renewable energy sources by 2050.


HAOR Wastewater Treatment Plant, Azerbaijan

What is it?

An upgrade of the 600m3/hour wastewater treatment plant at SOCAR’s Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery (HAOR) in Azerbaijan.

Who is involved?

SOCAR, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, commissioned the upgrade, and contracted KBR to design a system which would reuse parts of the existing WWTP, rather than building a new facility. A new oil removal technology created by Awas GmbH – known as spiral baffle vortex separation – was implemented at the site.

What makes it special?

SOCAR’s Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery in Baku plays a vital role in Azerbaijan’s export economy, processing 21 different grades of crude to single-handedly meet the country’s demand for petroleum products, 45% of which are sold abroad. When it came to upgrade the refinery’s existing wastewater treatment plant, the capex cost at first proved prohibitive, but KBR’s creative solution ultimately saved $25 million versus the initial estimate.

Awas’ new spiral baffle vortex separation technology was pilot-tested for this project, and was shown to remove 99.9% of the oil, outperforming conventional plate separation and gas flotation solutions.


The technology was installed inside existing structures, reducing the overall construction footprint, nixing demolition costs, and reducing construction emissions. The compact design of KBR’s solution enabled many of the existing buildings to be repurposed, while the ingenious implementation regime allowed the existing WWTP to remain in operation throughout the construction period – allowing Azerbaijan’s oil to keep flowing.


Paju Treated Sewage Effluent Reuse, Korea

What is it?

A 41,200m3/d plant which repurposes treated sewage effluent to produce industrial water for the LCD manufacturing zone in Paju, South Korea.

Who is involved?

The city of Paju will supply the raw sewage. An LG-Hitachi Water Solutions joint venture was awarded the EPC contract, and supplied the technologies, including ultrafiltration and BWRO membranes. HiEntech, an affiliate of LG Electronics, will operate and maintain the plant.

What makes it special?

The electronic display manufacturing sector is one of the most water-intensive industries in the world. The lack of a sustainable water source in Paju meant that the reuse of treated sewage effluent was a vital lever for the local economy, both from an economic and an environmental standpoint.

The project is an inspiring example of the public and private sectors working together to close the resource loop in a mutually beneficial way. The deal relieved the city of Paju of its wastewater treatment burden, while LG has secured a sustainable source of process water for its facilities in the industrial zone – all without tapping into the local potable water source.


With a market share of nearly 50% of the global display industry, the world will look to Korea for leadership in how the sector evolves over the coming decades. The winning combination of LG’s manufacturing and technology expertise and Hitachi’s water treatment R&D has created a new benchmark by which to measure the industry’s sustainability, while at the same time fostering closer municipal-industrial relations.


The Global Water Awards 2018 is proudly sponsored by:

Evoqua logo, links to Evoqua homepage

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