The SUEZ Group is implementing a solution applied in Chile with positive environmental and energy results at Spanish wastewater treatment plants in Granada (Sur and Vados biofactories) and Barcelona (Prat del Llobregat WWTP).
The implementation of a circular economy model is a central part of SUEZ’s strategy in Spain to enable effective combating of climate change and to achieve energy self-sufficient facilities and the zero-waste target.
This target is being achieved in Santiago de Chile, where the group owns the Aguas Andinas operator and the Gran Santiago biofactory, composed of La Farfana, Mapocho-Trebal and el Rutal. At a COP25 conference, Narcís Berberana, General Manager of Agbar in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, and former CEO at Aguas Andinas, explained that these wastewater treatment facilities “produce 600 million litres of treated water, electricity for a city with a population of 110,000, natural gas for 33,000 homes and irrigation water for 150,000 hectares of land. The biofactory also produces organic fertiliser for 5,000 hectares, thereby regenerating biodiversity ecosystems and improving the social environment”. The project received an award from the United Nations at the end of 2018.
This revolutionary model is based on giving water a second life by reusing it for agricultural, industrial and urban applications. In the process, the biofactories are capable of producing renewable energies, such as biofuels and thermal energy, thus helping to reduce carbon footprint. They are also capable of adding value to waste. Now SUEZ has brought this solution to Spain. It is in operation at the Sur and Vados biofactories in Granada, which are capable of reusing water for agricultural purposes in an area of high water stress, recovering waste and sludge, and also producing enough biogas to make the facility energy self-sufficient and to power a fleet of vehicles. The company also wants to implement this model at the El Prat de Llobregat WWTP in Barcelona and convert it into a 100% energy self-sufficient biofactory, with zero net CO2 emissions.
It is calculated that there will be 10,000 million more people living on the planet by 2050 and that the demand for water will increase by 30%. In this context, the transformation of WWTPs into biofactories has become one of the main objectives of SUEZ as part of its mission to continue progressing towards a circular economy.
The development of renewable, sustainable biofactories form part of the third pillar of SUEZ España’s climate action plan. The company is firmly committed to developing strategies, initiatives and solutions for the implementation of a circular economy model.