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Industrial Water Project of the Year

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

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.


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.

The Global Water Awards 2018 is proudly sponsored by:

Evoqua logo, links to Evoqua homepage

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