Project Ajman, United Arab Emirates

Ajman Wastewater Treatment Plant

A textbook example of wastewater management 

Since 2006, Ajman Sewerage (ASPCL) has played a central role in managing the wastewater of the Emirate of Ajman. The company brings together BESIX, which owns 40%, the Government of Ajman (GoA) (40%) and VEOLIA (20%). ASPCL, the first PPP in the Middle East in this field, built Ajman's entire wastewater collection network and treatment facilities, which were previously nonexistent. ASPCL still operates this infrastructure and continues to expand them by integrating new technologies. In 2019, BESIX enabled the plant to generate electricity using biogas produced by the wastewater treatment processes. A first in the region. 

The first successful wastewater treatment PPP scheme in the region

In the past, the Emirate of Ajman had no sewage treatment infrastructure. Through a combination of septic tanks and tanker transportation, wastewater was disposed of in an open lagoon, creating many environmental problems. Water is a scarce resource. Treatment, therefore, offers an alternative source that is both sustainable and economically advantageous. With the GoA, BESIX has played a pioneering role in this field. By establishing a modern sewerage system in Ajman, ASPCL has eliminated the risks to public health and environment linked to the discharge of untreated water. 

Building of the plant, completed in 2007

BESIX Concessions & Assets partnered with the Ajman Government to design, deliver and maintain a full sewerage system using a PPP (Public Private Partnership) structure and arranged all the funding. Working closely with the Ajman Government and population, BESIX carried out an intensive feasibility study to understand the specific objectives and constraints factoring in environmental, geographical and social issues. 

Upon the plant's completion in 2007, more than 100,000 households were connected to the network which had a capacity of 80,000m³/day. ASPCL was granted the concession of the plant, which runs until 2034. It gave the company the exclusive rights to finance, build, own, operate and maintain the Emirate's entire wastewater treatment infrastructure. The contract was the first of its kind in the Middle East. ASPCL also managed the client service, billing and the collection of the monthly fees by the population. 

Ajman Sewerage is a strategic asset for the Emirate as it delivers invaluable services to the population. I look forward to tackling the many challenges ahead: introducing new policies, further extending the reuse of water in its broadest sense, and testing new technologies.

HH Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi,
Chairman of the Ajman Municipality and Planning Department

Clean water for the whole of Ajman

In 2016, Six Construct was rehired by ASPCL to design and build an extension to the Ajman wastewater treatment plant. Since its completion in 2018, 450 kilometres of underground sewers collect wastewater from 175,000 households and transport it via different pumping stations to the treatment plant on the outskirts of the city of Ajman. The wastewater treatment plant processes this water, but also wastewater from buildings not yet connected to the sewerage network. That wastewater is delivered to the plant by tank trucks. The wastewater treatment plant has a capacity of 140,000m³, making it the most important treatment plan in Ajman. 

The wastewater, once treated, can be reused. 40% of it is used for unrestricted irriation of all of Ajman's landscape and greenery. 10% of the water is treated to an even higher standard by SAFI, and used for commercial and industrial applications. The plant operates 24/7 with an advanced management system, including preventive maintenance. 



The saga continues

In July 2019, ASPCL awarded BESIX the contract to design and build another extension to the wastewater treatment plant to digest sewage sludge and use the biogas by-product to generate electricity. These facilities will produce 50% of the treatment plant’s energy – a first in the United Arab Emirates.
In addition to lowering the treatment plant’s dependence on the public electricity grid, these facilities will both reduce the quantity and improve the quality of the sludge to be disposed of, while opening the way for the development of other options to recycle the sewage sludge, such as
organic fertilisers and alternative fuel for cement plants. The sludge processing plant is the third project of this type that BESIX has developed.

 

Project details

Project name

Ajman Wastewater Treatment Plant

Category

Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants, Water

Contract type

Design, Build, Finance & Maintenance

Location

Ajman, United Arab Emirates

Stakeholder(s)

Six Construct

Client

Ajman Swerage (Pvt) Co. Ltd.

Building Period

2003 - 2007

Maintenance period

2003 - 2028

Maintenance by

BESIX Concessions & Assets

Total value

€ 75 million

Capacity

120,000 m³/day

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