FILE - East Alexandria wastewater treatment plant FILE - East Alexandria wastewater treatment plant

Alexandria’s unit to generate electricity from sludge to start 2021

Wed, Sep. 12, 2018
CAIRO – 12September 2018: A station to generate power from sewage sludge will be established in Alexandria governorate with a cost of LE 3 billion ($168.2 million), an official stated.

Sewage sludge is a secondary product of the wastewater treatment.

In an interview with Egypt Today, Ebrahim Mansour, head of the Executive Body of the Sewage Projects in Alexandria, said that the station will comeinto service and start electricity production in 2021.

Mansour said that the constructions will last for 30 months before the station operates as part of a two year experimental period. Currently, the government is preparing the lands where the station will be established.

Mansour revealed that the LE 3 billion project will be funded by a loan worth €50 million given by L'AgenceFrançaise de Développement (French Development Agency), andthe Egyptian government will fund the project by LE 900 million (€43.5 million).

According to Mansour, the French Agency will also offer technical and technological support, while the Egyptian government will be responsible for the executive work.

Mansour said that although the project is the first of its kind in Alexandria, two similar projects were established in Qalyubia’s al-Gabal al-Asfar.

Sewage sludge is a residual and semi-solid substance produced during wastewater treatment. It is a threat to the environment as it is one of the major sources of environmental pollution.

However, sewage sludge is rich in organic substance, which makes it a perfect substrate for power generation.

A simplified form of an agreement was signed between Egypt and the French Development Agency (AFD) on a project aiming to build a sludge treatment unit at the East Alexandria wastewater treatment plant.

Alexandria has several wastewater treatment plants, the largest of which is the East Alexandria wastewater treatment plant. The sludge produced by this plant is subjected to a dewatering process without treatment by transporting the sludge to the landfill called “9N”, located in NagaaAbouBessissa in southwest Alexandria.

However, many residents in this area have always complained of the nuisances the plantcauses (odors, insects, and snakes). Consequently, with no alternative solution, this plant needs to be transported to a site even further away.

The project aims to build a unit to treat sludge through anaerobic digestion (also known as methanization) at the East Alexandria wastewater treatment plant.

The project will have a number of positive impacts, including reducing the quantity of sludge produced and increasing the magnitude of electricity generation given the biogas produced by the sludge treatment as well ascreatingmarket outlets for the sludge produced by selling it as a fertilizer to farmers.

Additional reporting by Egypt Today Staff.
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