Veolia Water Technologies redevelops brownfield site for its first ion exchange regeneration facility in China

Veolia Water Technologies (VWT) — a subsidiary of Veolia and a specialist in water treatment technologies and services — is redeveloping a brownfield site for its first ion exchange regeneration facility in China. The plant will be a part of its service deionisation and mobile water treatment ecosystems and will improve supply chain resilience, regenerating and recycling the resins used in water treatment processes. This source gives industries with the need for treated and ultrapure water (UPW) — such as microelectronics, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, power and F&B — assurance of supply without compromising sustainability. 

The investment is poised to bring multifaceted benefits to manufacturers and customers in the country (Image: VWT)

An investment of €10m for the development of this new ion exchange regeneration service centre and expansion of VWT mobile assets in China signifies the company’s commitment to advancing the capabilities of its mobile fleet in Asia-Pacific. Located in the densely populated Changshu industrial zone, the plant will function as an operation and maintenance (O&M) centre for all associated assets. The Changshu regeneration facility is expected to be operational by Q2 of 2024. VWT China CEO Daniel Nogueira said, “We are committed to growing sustainably, aligned with China’s 14th five-year plan from 2021-2025 plan, which aims to develop a circular economy and resource recycling.” It will also complement VWT’s current resin regeneration and recycling service centre in Penang, Malaysia, enhancing support to customers within the Asia-Pacific region.

The facility will span approximately 6,000m2, the size of four football fields. Built upon a brownfield site, the completed plant will boast a production capacity of 60,000L per day for mobile water services and 5,000L per day for service deionisation, and will be VWT’s first ion exchange regeneration facility in China. Similar plants are available in the Middle East, Latin America, North America and Europe.

The plant will incorporate water recycling systems, reducing city water consumption by up to 60%, preserving water for residents. Plans for a photovoltaic power supply and efficient transformers are in progress, and the facility will adopt technology to recycle spent ion exchange resins, promoting resource optimisation. These actions accelerate decarbonisation efforts by reducing power consumption and therefore lowering the site’s carbon footprint. The plant’s operation will create employment opportunities for the local community, and VWT will focus on knowledge transfer and the upskilling of the local team for talent development. With the capability for swift mobilisation and turnaround, VWT aims to minimise operational disruptions, offering a partnership for business continuity and security of treated water supply. The plant’s continuous production capacity ensures resilience against operational challenges, from supplier shutdowns to climatic conditions impacting installed equipment.