ACCIONA Agua has already completed one-third of the extension work on the Kawana wastewater treatment plant in Australia

ACCIONA Agua, has now completed one-third of the extension work on the wastewater plant in Kawana on the Sunshine Coast (Queensland, Australia), in a joint venture with Monadelphous. The project incorporates pioneering technology in Australia to improve the existing plant’s energy efficiency and sustainability.

After the completion of the building work, which ACCIONA Agua and its partner are carrying out for Unitywater for 56 million Australian dollars (around 37 million euros), the treatment capacity of the Kawana plant will increase from a population equivalent of 90,000 to 200,000 people.

The plant will incorporate an innovative process for wastewater treatment called Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR). This process has not been applied in the country before and it offers greater efficiency on a reduced footprint, in comparison with other traditional processes.

The upgraded system also includes the use of methane gas to generate electricity, offsetting the energy needs of the facility, reducing its carbon footprint and contributing to the sustainability of the project. The biogas generated in the sludge digestion process is used as fuel in a cogeneration plant to produce in the order of 330 kilowatts of electricity, which is then distributed around the plant to offset the need for energy from the grid.

Civil and concrete structures will be constructed to renew and extend the facilities, with major mechanical and electrical updates in almost all areas of the existing plant.

ACCIONA Agua is refurbishing part of the present facilities and building other elements such as primary treatment, primary lamella clarifiers, digester and new electrical, control and instrumentation components as well as the installation of odour control, among others.

The new treatment plant utilisises a 2.5-kilometre-long pipeline to discharge the water from the effluent pumping station into the Pacific Ocean. Samples will be collected every 30 minutes to ensure that the water discharged into the sea complies with all the applicable quality criteria.

The rest of the installations will be built and refurbished over the next five months until the five phases of the project are completed. The plant will enter service towards the end of 2018.

The design also provides for possible extensions in future to increase the plant’s capacity to a population equivalent of 400,000 in 2030 and up to 600,000 in 2035.