Black & Veatch’s work on fertiliser plant expansion contributes to water award

Leading engineering and construction company, Black & Veatch, has used its deep expertise in industrial water treatment, water reuse, and water infrastructure to help guide a Koch Industries subsidiary to an award-winning water treatment project at the Koch Fertiliser plant in Enid, Oklahoma, United States (U.S.).

Koch Fertiliser Enid LLC recently accepted the Oklahoma Water Resources Board’s inaugural Water for 2060 Excellence Award as part of that governing panel’s goal that the state’s fresh water consumption in 2060 does not exceed its usage in 2010. The award was created to recognise groundbreaking contributions in water use efficiency and conservation of Oklahoma’s fresh water resources. The Koch Fertiliser project team also won Koch’s internal Project of the Year award.

Black & Veatch designed the new water treatment system that will enable Koch Fertiliser to switch the majority of its water supply from potable water to reclaimed city water as part of the larger US$1.3 billion Koch Fertiliser Enid expansion project.

Enid is part of an area in Oklahoma where severe drought conditions had stressed the city’s water supply and challenged the fertiliser plant’s resilience. Koch Fertiliser leaders sought an environmentally responsible and financially viable solution to ensure that precious water resources were being managed in an efficient manner that benefits Enid’s citizens and industry. That solution includes using Koch Membrane Systems technology involving ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis membranes.

As part of the plant expansion launched in 2014, Black & Veatch provided design, programme management, and engineering and procurement services for a new water treatment system. The upgrade – which includes a new, roughly 3.5-mile (5.6-kilometre) pipeline from the Enid water reclamation plant, ultrafiltration and single-pass reverse osmosis technology – treats tertiary wastewater from the city for use in the plant’s cooling towers and demineralised water treatment system. The expansion included construction of a 26,000-square-foot water treatment facility that will eventually save more than 4 million gallons of drinking water each day for the city.

“The expansion sharply reduces the plant’s dependence on Enid’s potable water supply, saving the client money while preserving a precious resource,” Patrick Brabston, Black & Veatch project director, said. “For an area that has been grappling with drought, this focus on resource conservation is a huge payoff for everyone.”

“The Koch Water Treatment Project showcased the breadth of engineering expertise at Black & Veatch, including water treatment, pipeline design and project execution to provide Koch Fertiliser and the city of Enid with a practical and sustainable solution to water conservation,” Vincent Como, Black & Veatch project manager, added.

Marc Hoss, plant manager for Koch Fertiliser, called the project “an ideal example of how public and private institutions can work together for a cleaner environment and more efficient use of valuable resources.”

“If Oklahoma is to achieve the goal established under the Water for 2060 Act of 2012, consuming no more fresh water in 2060 than consumed in 2010, it will require large-scale innovative water reclamation projects like Koch Fertiliser’s Enid plant,” Julie Cunningham, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board’s director, stated. 

Steve Kime, Enid’s city public relations director, credited the collaboration with Koch with helping ensure sustainability of the city’s water supply.

“Often times the strength within a city and growth opportunities for communities rely on corporate partnerships. Enid is privileged to have many partnerships, and the relationship with Koch Fertiliser is a great example,” Kime said. “As our community looks for ways to conserve water usage and yet allow for growth to meet future needs, Koch has led the way in this effort by their innovative efforts to use reclaimed water in their processes.”