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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Veolia Water Technologies provides cutting-edge water treatment solutions

Water is integral to the efficiency of power plants, and Veolia Water Technologies is at the forefront of providing unique solutions to the ASEAN’s booming power industry. Carlo Patteri, Veolia Water Technologies’ Business Development Director, highlighted the fact that proper wastewater treatment is crucial to a region that is still highly dependent on coal.

Patteri stated that Asia is beset with challenges stemming from the need to balance sustainability and development. Asian power producers still favor coal because of its relative cheapness, but coal’s affordability comes at a high price for the environment. In many Southeast Asian countries, Patteri noted that local communities are no longer keen on developing coal power plants if the projects are not tied with environmental guarantees.

Taking on the ASEAN challenge
Veolia Water Technologies has been present in Southeast Asia for over 20 years and can address these challenges aptly. Veolia’s Regional Market Manager Aaron Seah stated that the ASEAN presents a unique challenge to the power industry because in comparison to their Western counterparts, Asian power companies are generally relatively slower when it comes to implementing water and wastewater treatment plants. 

This situation is exacerbated by the lack of clarity and enforcement when it comes to environmental regulations, as well as a lack of corporate-level understanding, and economical challenges. But Seah noted that Veolia has observed seen increased acceptance of water treatment solutions in Asia in recent years.

The reasons for the greater focus on wastewater treatment include steadily increasing water costs, stricter state environmental regulations on waste discharge, and the fact that companies are now more keen to recycle wastewater and optimize water usage to reduce their water footprint.

Veolia’s Asian expertise
In line with the company’s goal to help develop more sustainable and reliable plants, Seah chose to highlight the Veolia’s proven expertise in condensate polishing.

“We try to focus more on condensate polishing to actually recover the condensate. This is especially critical for coal-fired power plants. We want to focus our time and technology into this area, where we can bring a more sustainable plant to our customers,” Seah notes. “If a condenser breaks down, the whole power plant can be shut down. We see many unreliable plants in Asia, so we really want to improve the quality of these plants for our customers.”

The company’s edge in the region is further highlighted by their work on the first wastewater treatment plant installed upon a floating platform in South East Asia. Process and Application Engineer Yue Mei explains that a floating wastewater platform is normally very expensive and space-intensive. Veolia’s work used the Actiflo® system, which has a significantly smaller footprint and is perfect for land-scarce Asian countries.

Veolia’s solution will occupy the smallest area on a floating platform, and therefore will enable clients to achieve minimum construction costs and maximum savings. With this floating wastewater treatment plant, Veolia is able to offer a win-win solution by providing crucial wastewater technology while addressing land scarcity concerns.
“Actiflo’s footprint is forty to eighty times smaller than conventional systems. And we have the largest installation base for Actiflo. It is a proven and robust technology with over 800 installations worldwide,” she says.

Veolia’s Actiflo® solution is especially compatible for the treatment of lead and brackish water as it consistently produces sludge even under varying water conditions. Able to handle a flow rate of up to 17,000 cubic metres per day, Actiflo® incorporates microsand (ActisandTM) in the clarification process as it acts as a stabiliser, by dampening the effects of sudden variations in water conditions. With Veolia’s solution, this new application in Singapore will see an improvement in the quality of waste that is released into surrounding waters, and enable the marine life in the area to continue thriving.

Yue Mei further highlighted the fact that Veolia’s solutions are not limited by industries, as the company offers a range of solutions that can be customized to target specific and varying client needs. Among its many other projects in the region is the ANDA power plant in the Philippines, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) thermal power plants in Malaysia, and its work with the Formosa Petrochemical Corporation (FPCC) in Taiwan.

With its cutting-edge technology and distinctive solutions, Veolia is indeed uniquely poised to leverage on the Asian power sector’s massive growth.

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