Following an international call for bids issued in 1999, the Brussels region announced at a recent press conference that it had selected Aquiris, a consortium of French and Belgian companies led by Vivendi Water, to design and build the Brussels North wastewater treatment plant and operate it for 20 years.
Under the 20-year BOOT (Build-Own-Operate-Transfer), Aquiris will also finance the plant and main sewer system. The Brussels region will pay an annual annuity of 49.58 million euros over the 20 year period.
The plant will be located in the Neder-Over-Heembeek municipality and will be one of Europe's largest, with the capacity to treat wastewater for 1.1 million residents.
The project meets the extremely demanding specifications set by the Brussels region. These include very advanced treatment of nitrogen and phosphorus, the capacity to treat surplus flows during rainy weather, and a ban on sludge incineration on site.
The plant is scheduled for commissioning during the first half of 2006, following an initial 22-month period of studies and obtaining the necessary permits, and a second period lasting 36 months for construction.
From an environmental viewpoint, the wastewater treatment plant will merge completely into the suburbs of northern Brussels and be designed on the basis of zero pollution principles. The facilities will be covered, sound-proofed and deodorized so as to eliminate all odors and noise, and prevent the release of any polluting emissions into the atmosphere.
The project submitted by Vivendi Environnement of France draws on the company's vast expertise in operating municipal wastewater treatment plants worldwide.
Source: Vivendi Water