Nearly energy self-sufficient treatment and recycling of wastewater in the region of Amman, Jordan
Developing affordable wastewater treatment and recovery for Jordan’s capital region
The recycling of wastewater is a key component of Jordan's water strategy
In Jordan, in a backdrop of water scarcity and high demographic growth, recycling wastewater is of capital importance to supply populations and irrigate crops.
In 2003, Jordan's minister for water and irrigation decided to modernise and update the old saturated, pond stabilisation system in As Samra, focusing on four priorities:
- produce treated wastewater of high quality to reduce the use of drinking water for agricultural and industrial purposes
- return high quality water to the natural environment
- develop an affordable wastewater treatment service with gradual capacity development to address a population that will grow from 2.5 to 3.5 million between 2005 and 2025
- reduce site energy consumption.
Located in a desert area a few km from the capital city Amman, the new As Samra plant must treat the wastewater of 2.2 million inhabitants and meet the needs of the region's agricultural and industrial users.
Delivering wastewater treatment and recovery with blended financing and a phased approach
A two-phase extension
SUEZ has been operating in the country since 1997. In 2003 it was awarded a Build, Operate and Transfer contract for plant extension (phase 1), in consortium with MORGANTI (CCC Group). This 25-year contract is similar to a public-private partnership. During phase 1, the capacity of the plant was extended to 267,000 m3 /day. Construction was completed in 2008.
In 2012, Jordan's government renewed its trust in us with a contract to expand the plant and carry out operations until 2037 (phase 2). The plant’s capacity was extended from 267,000 to 364,000 m3 /day (+37%), making it the largest and most modern wastewater treatment plant in the country. The biosolids line was expanded by 80%. For each phase, a portion of the CAPEX is funded by a US grant, to maintain tariffs at an affordable level.
SUEZ combined several solutions for this plant, in order to optimise:
- wastewater treatment
- production of renewable energies on site
- energy recovery from sludge.
Enhance wastewater treatment capacity
The As Samra plant was designed to treat 100 million m3 of water annually, with appropriate and efficient systems:
- primary and secondary settling tanks,
- aeration and clarification tanks,
- solar drying beds,
- odour control system.
In 2012, Jordan's government once again demonstrated its trust in us to expand the plant and operate it until 2037. The capacity of the plant was therefore extended from 267,000 to 365,000 m3 /day, making it the largest and most modern wastewater treatment plant in the country.
Generate its own power
The new plant produces almost all of its operating power, through:
- biogas from sludge digestion
- electricity from hydroelectric turbines.
Recover residual sludge
Drying the residual sludge on site means it can be transformed into granule form and used as fuel or fertiliser.
Treatment facility developed in phases increasing energy recovery and water reuse
The high quality of the water recycled from the plant enables it to be reused for irrigation, covering almost 10% of farming requirements in Jordan (equivalent to 4,000 farms or 10,000 hectares irrigated).
Phase 2 was completed in 32 months (water line) and 39 months (sludge line). Both phases were completed within budget ($180m for Phase 2). During the plant’s second extension phase the existing plant’s treatment quality standards have continuously been met.
This project received a WEX Global Award for innovative financing and a World Finance Infrastructure Award in 2013.
The As Amra wastewater plant is operated almost entirely by local employees, with a high level of local knowledge and skills development, recognised by successful ISO certifications (9001, 14001, 18001, 50001, 55001).