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Mono landfill to harness energy potential of sludge, biosolids

By Hana Namrouqa - Apr 13,2017 - Last updated at Apr 13,2017

AMMAN — The Ministry of Water and Irrigation will soon float a tender for the construction of the first mono landfill for the disposal of sludge and biosolids and for electricity generation, according to officials.

The mono landfill will be established in Assamra Wastewater Treatment Plant, which treats 75 per cent of the Kingdom's wastewater and produces 70 per cent of the country’s sludge, a ministry official said on Thursday.

"Construction of the mono landfill seeks to properly dispose of sludge and biosolids, generate electricity from collected biogas, and increase the ministry's reliance on renewable energy to reduce its electricity bill and its carbon footprint," the official told The Jordan Times.

He indicated that the project's studies and blueprints have been ready for a few years now, but the lack of funding hampered its implementation, which was scheduled for late 2015.

Ninety per cent of the project is funded via a loan from the German Development Bank and the remainder by the Water Authority of Jordan, the official said, indicating that the project will cost $10 million.

A well-sealed land cell will be established under the project in Assmra Wastewater Treatment Plant with a total capacity of 2.3 million cubic metres, according to the ministry, which said that biofuel released by the buried sludge and biosolids will be collected via pipelines and used to produce electricity.

The ministry indicated that the project will generate four megawatts annually over five years, with future plans to replicate the scheme in all of the country's 31 wastewater treatment plants to produce 7.4 gigawatts per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The mono landfill is one of the projects announced under the recently launched Amman and Zarqa wastewater strategy, which lists 21 projects to increase households’ connectivity to the wastewater network in both governorates, from the current level of 80 per cent connectivity to 90 per cent by the year 2025, at a total cost of $930 million.

At the launch of the strategy last week, Ministry of Water and Irrigation Secretary General Iyad Dhayyat indicated that the Kingdom faces a challenge in the proper disposal of sludge generated from its wastewater treatment plants.

"The safe disposal of sludge is a problem that exists across the country's wastewater treatment plants…, the mono landfill is designed to put an end to this problem," Dhayyat said.

The utilisation of sludge and other biosolids to generate energy is one of several projects announced under the ministry’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Policy for the Jordanian Water Sector, which the Cabinet approved in 2015.

The policy seeks to achieve a 15 per cent reduction in energy consumption of billed water by the year 2025 through the introduction of economically feasible and environmently friendly power generation systems based on renewable energy sources.


Official figures indicate that power requirements for water pumping alone amounted to about 14 per cent of the country’s total power production, with a total amount of 1,424 gigawatt hours in 2013.

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