Tiel: opening of a 100% energy-neutral sewage treatment plant

3 December 2019

On Thursday 14 November, the opening ceremony of Tiel’s sewage treatment plant took place in the Netherlands, in the presence of the client, Waterschap Rivierenland, BESIX Water & Environment and BESIX Nederland.

The project consisted of upgrading the sewage treatment plant to a 100% energy neutral facility.

"Today, the plant itself meets its own energy needs. This was made possible by the installation of a sludge treatment process to produce biogas. This biogas is then used to provide heat and electricity. The treatment also includes a production facility of natural fertiliser that can be sold to the agro-industry", explains Hans De Wulf, Project Manager.

Sludge, or 'sewage sludge', is a residual, organic material that is produced during the treatment of wastewater. Its use as a fuel for the plant’s operations, which require a large amount of energy, is therefore both a cost efficient and a long-term sustainable solution.

"Waterschap Rivierenland has the ambition to rely exclusively on energy-neutral installations by 2040. With this energy-neutral plant, we have contributed to achieving this great environmental objective. It is all the more significant as Tiel ranks amongst the first energy-neutral plants of the country and the broader Benelux region", says Jeroen Philtjens, Director BESIX Nederland.

Co-creation & Bouwteam

The project is also an outstanding example of co-creation between BESIX Nederland and BESIX Water & Environment, as well as with the client.

The solution, which required the integration of state-of-the art technologies, was designed by BESIX Water & Environment, in collaboration with its Dutch subcontractor Colsen. BESIX Nederland carried out all civil engineering works.

"BESIX Nederland and BESIX Water & Environment worked side by side throughout the construction process, with a strong team spirit and a common goal; to develop a cutting-edge facility and help Waterschap Rivierenland achieve its objectives. This has contributed to build a trusting relationship with our client", explains Adrien Theunissen, Senior Manager BESIX Water & Environment.

This trusting relationship already has positive consequences. Waterschap Rivierenland and BESIX, in bouwteam, have indeed started the design of the project’s next phase.

"The objective is to further improve the process, notably in terms of sludge dewatering and energy consumption", concludes Adrien Theunissen.