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Industrial Project of the Year

For the project, commissioned in 2020, that represents the most impressive technical or environmental achievement in the field of industrial water and wastewater.

L’Oréal Warsaw water reuse plant, Poland

What is it?

A 400m3/d wastewater treatment and water reuse plant commissioned for cosmetics giant L’Oréal in Warsaw, Poland.

Who was involved?

Nijhuis Saur Industries delivered the €4.3 million turnkey project. Nijhuis Water Technology was involved in the installation and commissioning. 3D technology was used for project execution improvements without stops in production. L’Oréal’s staff operate the plant with the support of Nijhuis.

What makes it special?

With Poland facing increasingly regular drought periods, L’Oréal’s Warsaw site has slashed its water consumption in half by reusing approximately 75,000m3 of water annually. An array of processes are employed, including flocculation & flotation, a membrane bioreactor, sludge treatment, and a reverse osmosis system. The produced clean water is reused for co-production processes. Inspired by the ‘Water Loop factory’ concept, part of L’Oréal’s sustainability strategy, this project proves that the environmental footprint of cosmetics production can be significantly reduced.

With exceptional white walls and a glass façade, design was an integral part of this plant’s implementation, perfectly complementing the aesthetics of the Warsaw site, unlike similar projects established by L’Oréal elsewhere. Another unique feature of this plant is the i-Dose system, an intelligent chemical dosing system by Nijhuis. While conventional dosing pumps are set on a fixed setting, often leading to overdosing chemicals during strong fluctuations in effluent quality, i-Dose uses real-time analysis of multiple wastewater quality parameters to adapt the chemical consumption to the actual pollution load.


By optimising the chemical usage, the i-Dose system increases the efficiency of the pretreatment system which reduces the power consumption in subsequent treatment phases. Therefore, the plant is not only achieving economic and environmental gains by minimising chemical costs but also through power savings with 3,300 kWh consumed daily. Adding to these gains, operation time and labour load are also reduced since it is a fully automated system.


NIPSCO cooling water algae treatment, USA

What is it?

A novel chemical treatment programme enabling Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) to treat the cooling tower water at its Rollin M. Schahfer Generating Station near Wheatfield, Indiana, using a non-phosphorus based solution.

Who was involved?

The project was delivered by Suez under an opex-only service model. EquipSolutions was engaged in the project’s construction and commissioning. Suez was able to deliver the solution in only 30 days while adhering to strict COVID-related guidelines, and continues to provide support and monitoring services.

What makes it special?

The use of phosphorus in cooling water treatment has been a challenge for NIPSCO since the micronutrient, when discharged in effluent, promotes algae growth in water systems. Suez’s proposed solution, its Engineered Carboxylate Oxide (E.C.O. Film) technology, involves a non-phosphorus corrosion control programme, with a total blowdown capacity of 13,220 gallons per minute, that dramatically lowers the amount of phosphorus from the blowdown entering the effluent discharge.

The implementation cost represented just a small fraction of the overall savings so far, which totalled $2.1 million in the first year alone. As no capital costs or further operating costs were involved, NIPSCO realised immediate cost savings due to the reduced amount of algaecide used for algae management and the improved condenser performance. The overall staff time required at the plant was also minimised due to the simplified management of the Suez system.


In an increasingly natural gas-oriented market, this project helps improve the environmental profile of the coal-fired power plant to remain competitive. By reducing up to 12 million pounds of algae annually, discharge violations are avoided. In addition, the project’s impact extends beyond the plant footprint, mitigating the negative impact of algae on local water sources and aquatic life, which subsequently safeguards the local ecosystem and public health.

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