Veolia Water to build and operate the new Chartres Métropole wastewater treatment plant

Posted: Friday 21st August 2009

The future plant will help reduce the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by producing renewable energy.

Chartres Métropole, the joint district authority for the city of Chartres and surrounding communities, has awarded Veolia Water a 20-year concession contract to build and operate a new wastewater treatment plant.

The contract is worth estimated cumulative revenue of €102 million(1). The design and construction part of the project will be contracted out by Veolia Water to a consortium comprising OTV/Veolia Water Solutions &Technologies (a subsidiary of Veolia Water and the lead company) and Ternois. When it comes into service, 34 months after the issue of the order for studies, the plant will have a treatment capacity of 164,000 population equivalent, which may be extended to 200,000 population equivalent by the end of the contract.

The new facility will deploy proven technological solutions selected on the basis of a Life Cycle Analysis conducted by Veolia Water. Chartres Métropole chose very-low-load activated sludge treatment because of its limited environmental impact. This process produces an excellent quality of treated water and will help reduce the plant's overall environmental footprint through its low energy consumption and use of fewer chemicals.

The sludge will be stabilized by digestion. The biogas from the digestion will feed a cogeneration unit and will therefore contribute to producing fully renewable energy. The energy will be used to heat the premises and to sell electricity to EDF at an attractive price. A boiler fueled by miscanthus (a type of grass) cultivated partly at the plant will complete the heat production system. A dedicated on-site unit that will be completely enclosed will convert the sludge into compost that meets all health and safety standards.

The integration of the plant into the surrounding architecture and landscape was the subject of in-depth studies, as the plant has to blend perfectly into the view from the Chartres Cathedral. To do so, the buildings will be covered with greenery. The architectural design will include an educational circuit that follows the water's journey through the plant and is separated from treatment areas to ensure visitors' safety. Lastly, odor control will be provided by biological and physical-chemical air treatment units. All of the installations will be designed according to the Ecolia 21® high environmental quality charter, which is an ecodesign plan defined by OTV/Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies.

"The new Chartres Métropole plant will combine sustainable technologies, a reduced environmental footprint and zero nuisances for nearby residents. It represents a strong, decisive commitment that is an example of what Veolia Water can do for its municipal clients" sustainable development programs," stated Antoine Frérot, CEO of Veolia Water.

Under the terms of the contract, Veolia Water has made commitments to greenhouse gas reductions and biodiversity development. Changes in the carbon impact per inhabitant and the quality of aquatic ecosystems will be monitored.

(1) This figure does not include the "construction" activity. In compliance with Veolia Water's consolidation standards, the cumulative revenue from ordinary activities will be €156 million, which breaks down into €54 million for construction and €102 million for the concession contract.

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