Providing Reuse water and energy with Australia’s first SUEZ Biofactory™

Bringing Australia’s water infrastructure industry one step closer to net-zero, the team at SUEZ is delivering the nation’s first Biofactory. Located on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula at Boneo, this wastewater treatment and recycling plant is redefining the future of sustainable wastewater treatment.
In 2016, South East Water began the procurement process to upgrade its Water Recycling Plant (WRP) at Boneo. As part of its masterplan over the next 30 years, the program of works was initiated to accommodate the next wave of growth on the southern Mornington Peninsula, a popular holiday destination within the south east of Melbourne. The upgrade also aimed to protect the local environment and maximise recycled water production for surrounding businesses.

In 2017, South East Water awarded the 10-year Design, Build, Operate Maintain contract for the upgrade to the John Holland/SUEZ/Beca joint venture. The joint venture took over operations of the plant in February 2018, with the construction and commissioning of the brownfield upgrade being recently completed. In the joint venture, SUEZ took the lead for the process treatment line and the operations and maintenance of the existing plant throughout the upgrade.
The mission

Commitment of net-zero emissions

South East Water’s climate mitigation strategy was developed after the finalisation of the reference design. As such, to achieve our client’s commitment of net-zero emissions by 2030, with an interim target of a 60% reduction in emissions by 2025, several key factors were identified:
  • Collaboration and communication: We adopted a collaborative approach with South East Water, which involved a schedule of interactive sessions. Real feedback was provided, which enabled us to develop a solution tailored to our client’s needs.
  • Leading-edge technology: We planned an operation and maintenance period of 15 years to allow the leading-edge process to be run efficiently, enable extended performance guarantees and ensure knowledge transfer to our client’s operational teams.
  • Streamlined comparison: We provided a Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) template to allow technical options to be compared to the reference design. This benefited both SUEZ and South East Water by ensuring that options met the client’s objectives by providing an ‘apple with apples’ comparison.
Our answer

Prioritising performance through innovation

When upgrading South East Water’s treatment plant, we needed to take several factors into consideration such as compliance, the community, the environment and our client’s objective of net-zero emissions. Fundamental to achieving these was making the plant’s performance a priority. As such, we implemented the following innovative technologies:
  • Enhanced primary treatment for optimum carbon redirection (Densdeg™)
  • Optimised anaerobic digestion (Digelis™ Simplex design) using new metal digesters (Verinox steel).
  • Sludge dewatering by piston press (Dehydris™ Twist) to optimise existing solar drying infrastructure.
  • Nitrite bypass (Cleargreen™ mainstream) to reduce oxygen consumption and increase biogas production.
  • Deamonification (Annamox) sidestream (Cleargreen™ sidestream).
The results

Transforming conventional wastewater treatment

As a result of these breakthrough technologies, we reduced air consumption by 50% compared to conventional treatment. We also increased the production of biogas which is used to generate the electricity needed to power the plant.

The Boneo Biofactory is about transforming the linear model of a conventional wastewater treatment plant to follow circular economy principles. This approach offers an opportunity to recognise and capture the full value of wastewater management. It also enables us to reduce expenses of treatment including energy and chemicals, decrease our carbon footprint and increase efficiencies from wastewater, biosolids utilisation and energy recovery.

As well as advanced technological solutions, the Boneo Biofactory provides long-term environmental and financial performance, transforming our wastewater treatment plants into resource recovery centres.



capacity of wastewater treatment and recycling per day
16 000
of Class A water per day
by 2030
scope 1 & 2 emissions targeted