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Sun 3 Jun 2007 02:34 PM

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Sharjah awards sewage contract

Sharjah Municipality has awarded a major contract for the expansion of the sixth phase of its municipal sewage treatment plant.

Sharjah Municipality has awarded a major contract for the expansion of the sixth phase of its municipal sewage treatment plant. Under the deal, the plant's present treatment capacity will be raised from 37 500 m³ to 53 000 m³ per day.

"This is part of our ongoing efforts to improve the civic services in the emirate and provide citizens and residents with better amenities and living conditions," said the municipality director general Dr Salah Tahir Al Haj.

Abdul Aziz, manager of the municipality's drainage section, said that moving-bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) technology, developed and patented by Scandinavian wastewater treatment firm AnoxKaldnes AS, would be used in the project.

"We explored several technologies available in the world market before we zeroed in on MBBR," said Aziz, adding that a short gestation period, requirement for a minimum level of civil works and low capital cost per m³ were among the benefits.

An MBBR plant occupies only 35-40% of the land area compared to plants based on conventional treatment processes. The current expansion is thus being carried out without any increase in the footprint of the existing plant, a blessing in light of increasing real estate costs.

Furthermore, the additional capacity of 15 500 m³ will be installed within 11 months, whereas a greenfield project of a similar size would take at least two years to construct.

"We have several MBBR-based plants in the region but this is the first major municipal project being executed by us in the Gulf," said Terje Andersen, managing director of AnoxKaldnes.

"We are in negotiations with several other local bodies in the region," he added.