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Kuwait water treatment plant to benefit from Xylem technologies

Water technology provider Xylem has won a contract valued at more than $8 million (€7.1m) to develop and supply customised technologies to a Kuwaiti wastewater treatment and reclamation plant.

Following a plant expansion currently underway, the facility, located in the small town of Sulaibiya, will be one of the largest water reclamation facilities of its kind in the world.

Kuwait’s average rainfall is less than 120mm annually, and groundwater is the main naturally-occurring water resource, providing 36% of Kuwait’s annual water supply, including 90% of the water used for irrigation and landscaping.

However, this precious resource is overexploited, depleting rapidly and subject to pollution from various sources, such as oil exploration and refining, insecticides, pesticides and fertilisers used for agriculture, landfill sites, industrial and commercial operations, and soil contaminated by hydrocarbons during the 1991 Gulf War.

The expanded facility will serve the growing irrigation needs of the southern and western Kuwait catchment areas, treating 600,000m3 of wastewater per day, using ultra filtration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) as tertiary treatment and polishing stages.

“In conjunction with Kharafi National, the project contractor, our optimised solution during secondary treatment will help create an efficient and effective system that will deliver clean reusable water to this arid, water-challenged region,” said Vincent Chirouze, regional director for Xylem’s Middle East and Africa region.

Xylem will supply high-efficiency treatment technologies for use during secondary treatment at the plant, including the company’s Sanitaire fine bubble aeration technologies, Flygt ultra low-head pumps and low-speed mixers, aeration blowers, stainless steel air mains, and Flygt Jet aerators in the aerobic digesters.

These technologies will ensure adequate secondary effluent quality for further treatment and polishing during tertiary stage.

Dimitris Anagnostopoulos, project director for Kharafi National, said: “We are looking forward to the implementation of various equipment performance and optimisation concepts that Xylem’s engineering and R&D teams have developed. Xylem’s willingness and commitment to join hands with Kharafi National and help us to expedite the project execution phase is commendable.”

Xylem previously worked in a similar role with Kharafi National during the first phase of the development of the treatment plant.

Expansion of the plant is expected to be completed by autumn 2016 and it will be operational from Q1 2017.