GWE wins Asian Manufacturing Award for outstanding waste-to-energy project


At the Del Monte Philippines waste-to-energy project, green energy generators are powered by biogas from wastewater, gaining a profit

Global Water Engineering (GWE) has won the Best Water and Wastewater Solutions Provider honour at the Asian Manufacturing Awards for their waste-to-energy project, also the world’s largest integrated pineapple operation, Del Monte Philippines, Inc. (DMPI).

The Award is organised by Contineo Media to honour control, instrumentation, and automation product manufacturers and service providers who, over the past year, have provided the best solutions to address today’s engineering and manufacturing challenges.

The winners at the recent presentation event were determined by an international panel of judges who analysed and selected the best technology solutions and services providers, with the judging process audited by an external party to ensure transparency and fairness.

The GWE wastewater treatment installation at the Cagayan de Oro pineapple canning plant, which has even managed to exceed the high effluent quality targets originally set, has achieved 93 per cent organic pollution (COD) removal in its anaerobic reactors, and also produces enough methane-rich biogas to power two 1.4 MW generating electrical power generator units in the process. The effluent of the anaerobic digestion step is further polished in an activated sludge type final treatment step to satisfy the local DENR discharge effluent standards.

Behind an approximate 10 per cent of the world’s annual production of processed pineapple products, DMPI will use environmentally clean electricity to replace fossil fuels typically used in electrical power plants. According to GWE Chairman and CEO, Mr Jean-Pierre Ombregt, to further bring down of fossil fuel use, the waste heat from the gensets is also used to heat up steam boiler feed water.

“Achievement of this award is a great compliment to DPMI’s foresight and environmental credentials. It is also a further demonstration of the proven performance and financial benefits of GWE technologies that both increase water quality while reducing dependence on fossil fuels,” Mr Ombregt said.

Other benefits of the company’s new wastewater and green energy plant mean that DMPI can replace fossil fuels with green energy, and given the high prices of electricity along with its occasionally erratic supply, the plant will achieve a rapid ROI payback. While this process generally this takes between two to five years, Mr Ombregt said, the benefits are applicable to any manufacturing operation with one or more organically loaded wastewater and waste streams.

“Biogas from wastewater is an outstanding source of base load power. As part of a renewable energy mix – complementing wind and solar generation, for example – electricity generated with biogas is highly reliable and consistent,” Mr Ombregt added. “As the major component of natural gas, methane is an environmentally attractive alternative to fossil fuels.”