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Nearly energy self-sufficient treatment and recycling of wastewater in the region of Amman, Jordan

The Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation decided to invest in a new wastewater treatment plant to meet the needs of Greater Amman. Under the terms of a 25-year public-private partnership, SUEZ designed and installed a high-capacity plant in As Samra that is capable of producing its own energy from the treatment processes.
The mission

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.

100
million m3 of wastewater treated annually
10
%
the portion of treated water in water resources
Our solution

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.

The results

Treatment facility developed in phases increasing energy recovery and water reuse

In observance of international standards, the new SUEZ plant in As Samra now meets the water needs of the population, agricultural and industrial users in Greater Amman.


The 37% increase in capacity will meet the needs of a population estimated to reach 7 million in 2022.

The generation of renewable energy from the sludge treatment process provides 80% of the plant's power.

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).

Due to the higher quality of the wastewater discharged, the environmental restoration of the Zarqa river has encouraged the return of fish and crustaceans.

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.

The financial structure, completely original in Jordan, enabled the government to use the expertise offered by SUEZ in terms of build, operation and maintenance, alongside international financial support. 

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).

4,000
farms in the region use water recycled by the As Samra plant
300,000
tonnes of CO2 saved each year through the production of renewable energy

80

%

of the plant’s power comes from renewable energy from the sludge treatment process
13
MW
of renewable energy from biogas and hydro-electric turbines supply 80% of the plant's energy needs
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