Danish utility Fors treats wastewater sustainably with Veolia’s Cella technology

Fors — the utility company serving the municipalities of Holbæk, Lejre and Roskilde — inaugurated on 3 May 2024 the upgraded Svinninge wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) featuring Veolia’s Cella technology. The plant is reportedly the first full-scale facility in the world to deploy biofilm technology that offers a sustainable, compact and energy-efficient solution for wastewater treatment.

The Svinninge plant is currently in startup phase, with a sampling programme planned until summer 2025 to monitor performance and optimise operations (Image: Veolia)

Located in Svinninge, about 60km west of Copenhagen, the plant was upgraded to increase capacity by 40% up to 6,300 population equivalents while meeting effluent requirements. Two Veolia Water Technologies subsidiaries — Krüger, a Danish water and wastewater treatment specialist, and AnoxKaldnes, a global supplier of biological water purification solutions headquartered in Sweden — teamed up to develop and implement the world-first solution, working with Fors and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency through the Environmental Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (MUDP).

COO of Fors Henrik Correll said, “Looking at ways to reduce our carbon footprint is part of our DNA and something we work towards every day. It is of importance that we seek to look at new solutions through smart partnerships, of which this project is a great example.”

Cella technology

Cella is a technology that advances the biofilm principles of the moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) technology by using high surface-area support material derived from renewable biomass, fostering biofilm growth. As well as being biodegradable, Cella can be implemented as a continuous, all-in-one process solution for achieving carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus removal with minimal or zero chemical consumption. The process maximises energy efficiency and recovery.

The compact, efficient and sustainable nature of Cella makes it a choice for plants with limited space availability, enabling them to expand their capacity while embracing sustainable practices. By harnessing the power of renewable resources and optimising resource utilisation, Cella paves the way for a greener future in wastewater treatment.

Veolia recently unveiled its ambitious Green Up strategic programme for 2024-2027, accelerating the deployment of affordable, replicable solutions that depollute, decarbonise and regenerate resources. Water technologies and new solutions are at the heart of this programme, with Cella standing as an example of what can be achieved. Collaborating with partners like Fors is key.

“By leveraging renewable materials and optimising energy use, it empowers municipalities to decarbonise operations while boosting treatment capacity and effluent quality,” added Anne Le Guennec, Veolia senior executive vice-president, worldwide water technologies. “Water technologies are a core booster of our new strategic programme Green Up and Cella exemplifies our commitment to delivering solutions to harmonise environmental stewardship and operational excellence.”

Veolia’s cloud-based digital twin — Hubgrade Wastewater Plant Performance — will also enable advanced process control and remote monitoring, further contributing to an optimal operational and environmental performance.