EGYPT: Suez launches a sewage sludge recovery unit in Alexandria East

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EGYPT: Suez launches a sewage sludge recovery unit in East Alexandria© Yaraslau Mikheyeu/Shutterstock

The French environmental giant Suez has announced the start of the commissioning of a sewage sludge energy recovery line at the Alexandria East plant. The electricity produced by this unit will be injected into the wastewater treatment plant's network.

The French group Suez, specialised in water and waste treatment, has announced the start of the commissioning of the sludge digestion line at the Alexandria East Wastewater Treatment Plant. This plant takes care of the wastewater discharged by the companies of the city of Alexandria and its more than 5 million inhabitants.

The plant, operated by Suez since 2013, has a capacity of 800,000 m3 per day, making it one of the largest in Egypt. The project implemented by Suez aims to add value to the sewage sludge from the Alexandria East plant. Before the project was launched, which is now entering its final phase, the sludge from the effluent treatment was transported by truck over a distance of 45 km to a landfill known as “9N”, located in Nagaa Abou Bessissa, south-west of the city.

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This landfill, inaugurated in 1997, has been the source of many complaints from the surrounding population because of the nuisances it generates (odours, insects, snakes) and is soon reaching saturation point. The biodigestion of the sludge from the Alexandria East plant will allow the production of biogas. The combustion of this gas will allow the production of 6 MWh of electricity. According to Suez, this capacity should cover half the needs of the Alexandria East wastewater treatment plant.

This virtuous project is financially supported by the French Development Agency (AFD). According to Suez, the recovery of sewage sludge into biogas and then into electricity should help reduce the environmental impact of wastewater treatment and contribute to the economic and financial balance of the Alexandria wastewater treatment plant, while minimising the nuisance for residents of the plant and the “9N” landfill.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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