March 9, 2021

Asset Management of your biogas upgrading facility

Waternet Amsterdam – Securing sustainability 

A CO2 neutral Wastewater Treatment Plant for Amsterdam

While many countries such as the Netherlands aim to reduce CO2 emissions in 2050 by (almost) 100% in comparison to 1990, the largest municipal wastewater treatment facility in Amsterdam: Waternet will operate CO2-neutral already this year (2021). The sludge that is generated by treating the millions of cubic meters of wastewater each year, typically seen as a waste product, is processed and converted into biogas. This biogas is converted into biomethane, also known as renewable natural gas, which is used to fuel 5600 vehicles and 420 garbage collection trucks, replacing fossil CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) in the process.

How to secure sustainability, minimizing risk and maximizing returns

In becoming CO2-neutral for a communality such as Amsterdam it is paramount that this sustainability is secure. Waternet has achieved this by outsourcing the technology, operation of the technology including maintenance and the offtake (sales) of the biomethane, which now is a high-quality renewable energy source, to use in the transport to a specialized company: DMT & Orangegas entered into an agreement for 15 years to secure the off-take of biomethane being used in the transport sector. With this agreement the biomethane is supplied through a chain of fueling stations throughout The Netherlands.

The uptime, efficiency and continuity of the production of biomethane are guaranteed with a multi-disciplinary approach characterized by the following: The technical design is proven, with dozens of plants in operation in the last ten years; Subsystems and parts that are critical for the continued operation of the facility are built redundantly; Maintenance is performed in a preventive and planned method; Spare parts are kept on stock; In the operation, pre-alarm reporting is used to actively prevent downtime; Production is surveyed 24/7/365 from a manned control room with experienced operators and process engineers; response time of the on-site service is under 2 hours; and periodic evaluations are planned for continuously improvement to optimize the whole value stream.

CO2 neurtral operation in Amsterdam

With this approach, Amsterdam is guaranteed a CO2-neutral operation of its wastewater treatment plant for the next 15 years and potentially even longer, long before 2050.