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Work on project to generate power from sludge to start this year

By Hana Namrouqa - Jul 04,2015 - Last updated at Jul 04,2015

A project to generate four megawatts annually over five years using sludge and biosolids will cost JD6.5 million and will be implemented at As Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant (File photo)

AMMAN — Construction on the country’s first mono landfill to bury sludge and biosolids and generate electricity will commence before the end of this year, government officials said on Saturday.

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation has floated the tender of the project, under which sludge and biosolids generated from wastewater treatment will be buried in well-sealed land cells at As Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant, Water Minister Hazem Nasser said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

“The project, which will generate four megawatts annually over five years, will cost JD6.5 million, 90 per cent of which is funded by KfW [German Development Bank] and the remainder by the Water Authority of Jordan,” Nasser added.

Biofuel released by the buried sludge and biosolids will be collected via pipelines and used to produce electricity, Water Ministry Spokesperson Omar Salameh said, adding that the project will start producing power by next year.

“This project is a milestone in the ministry’s efforts to rely on renewable energy in electricity generation. The same project will also be implemented in the northern region’s wastewater treatment plants, particularly the Wadi Al Arab plant and Irbid central wastewater treatment plant,” Salameh told The Jordan Times.

Once the project is replicated in all of the country’s wastewater treatment plants, the ministry will be producing 7.4 gigawatts per year and reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, he underscored.

The country’s 27 wastewater treatment plants treat 122 million cubic metres of wastewater per year, 115 million cubic metres of which are used for industrial purposes and irrigating certain crops, such as fodder, according to the ministry.

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 last month.

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 environment-friendly power generation systems based on renewable energy sources.

According to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources’ 2013 Annual Report, power requirements in 2013 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.

Given that the water sector is highly subsidised, the total energy bill paid by the Water Ministry in 2013 amounted to JD100 million, according to the policy.

Assuming that current operational patterns are sustained, real power costs for water pumping are estimated to amount to JD640 million by the year 2025, the policy said.


Also under the policy, the ministry announced plans to establish a solar plant in the southern region to supply energy to the water sector. The solar station will be constructed on a build-operate-transfer basis to generate 50 megawatts per hour.

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