HUBER SE builds one of the biggest sewage sludge utilisation plants worldwide

In the Colombian city Medellín the new sewage treatment plant Bello (pronounced Bejo) is presently under construction. The plant is designed for 2.75 million PE and a capacity of 6.5 m³/s. To treat the sewage sludge that is generated on site the environmental company in the Upper Palatinate in Bavaria installed the well-proven HUBER Belt Dryer BT for this international mega project.

A daily amount of 400 tons of dewatered sewage sludge is generated in Bello, of which approximately 310 tons are produced on site and another 90 tons come from a second sewage treatment plant in the city centre of Medellín, San Fernando. The sludge from San Fernando is transported to Bello by trucks. The according constructions and devices for transport, acceptance and storage will be provided.

The plant operator Empresas Publicas de Medellín (EPM) placed the focus on a sustainable and economical disposal of the generated sewage sludge. Several technological concepts were analysed and tested under the prevailing conditions. The concept that was finally selected combines power-heat cogeneration with sewage sludge drying.

HUBER SE participated in the tender for the project as the consortium manager in cooperation with a renowned Colombian plant manufacturer. The tender specification included the turnkey erection, engineering, construction and operation of the plant.

After evaluation of the submitted technical and commercial offers the order was placed with the consortium under the management of HUBER in August this year. At the end of 2012 already, HUBER could secure the order for the supply, installation and commissioning of the complete mechanical equipment for the preliminary wastewater treatment. Due to references like this one and numerous successfully operating similar installations in the field of thermal sewage sludge treatment HUBER could convince the customer to be the right partner for this prestigious project.

The total order value of the project is more than 50 million US dollar. The construction time will be only 22 months. The consortium will then also operate the plant for a certain period of time.

Load-dependently controlled gas turbines which are supplied by the consortium will generate the electric power for the operation of this sewage treatment plant. The exhaust heat generated in this process will be used to dry the sewage sludge in the HUBER Belt Dryer. This solution is another step towards an energy-optimised operation of the complete sewage treatment plant. Excess energy is fed to the public grid.

Perfectly matched state-of-the-art technologies and fully automated electrical control systems and process control systems are applied in this project.

The concept implemented here for the utilisation of sewage sludge is path-breaking not only for Latin America, also in Germany it can serve as an innovative solution with downstream thermal sludge utilisation and phosphorus recovery under the aspect of the upcoming amendment of the Sewage Sludge Ordinance.