Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Kiwi environmental innovation receives international honours

MEDIA RELEASE

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Kiwi environmental innovation receives international honours

Beca has been awarded Global Winner for the Design Projects Category of the 2014 International Water Association (IWA) Global Project Innovation Awards Competition. The design work on Contact Energy’s Wairākei bioreactor is a Kiwi innovation and the only New Zealand winner announced at the internationally recognised 2014 IWA Global Project Innovation Awards in Portugal. Jointly developed by Beca and Contact, the bioreactor is a unique, world-first solution to improve the quality of water that is discharged from the iconic Wairākei geothermal power station into the Waikato River.

“To work with Contact Energy from the beginning, developing and testing innovative concepts through to the design and construction of the Wairākei bioreactor has been immensely rewarding for the Beca team”, says Beca CEO, Greg Lowe. “This is another great example of New Zealand talent delivering world class project outcomes.”

“I’m immensely proud of our bioreactor,” says Contact Energy CEO, Dennis Barnes. “As a world-first it’s great to see this example of Kiwi ingenuity recognised at an international level.”

The Wairākei bioreactor was developed to reduce hydrogen sulphide (H2S) discharges from the Wairākei geothermal power station to the Waikato River. This was identified through a 10-year programme of environmental and technical studies which examined the environmental impacts from the on-going operation of the power station. These studies showed that H2S levels in the Waikato River downstream from the Wairākei power station were impacting the water quality.

The bioreactor was developed as a treatment facility for the reduction of H2S in the cooling water by harnessing the power of billions of naturally occurring sulphide oxidising bacteria endemic to the Waikato River.

In creating this solution Beca engineers used several innovative engineering techniques, including:

•A tubular biofilm reactor designed around a large network of almost 400 kilometres of pipes that create an environment for the bacteria to live and grow

•Excavated soil and pumice from the site was mixed with concrete to hold the 1900 parallel polythene pipes in place, saving considerable costs and

•A syphon configuration for the bioreactor hydraulic design lowers the pumping head to minimise power usage and also contributes to significant cost savings.

To date, the bioreactor is reducing H2S in the cooling water discharges by almost 8,000 kilograms per week. It is also on track to achieving the August 2016 milestone of an overall reduction of 95 per cent.

The IWA Global Project Innovation Awards is a prestigious global competition which recognises and celebrates innovation and excellence in water engineering projects around the world.

The Wairākei bioreactor was recently given the accolade Gold Award of Excellence at the ACENZ (Association of Consulting Engineers) 2014 INNOVATE NZ Awards and entered for the IChemE Awards 2014 in recognition of chemical engineering innovation and excellence. Last year it was also awarded the ‘Energy Project of the Year’ and ‘Environmental Excellence’ awards at the 2013 Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards (NZ) and received the 2013 New Zealand Engineering Excellence Award in the Chemical, Bio and Food category.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Lower Levy For Safer Cars: ACC Backtracks On Safety Assessments

Dog and Lemon: “The ACC has based the entire levy system on a set of badly flawed data from Monash University. This Monash data is riddled with errors and false assumptions; that’s the real reason for the multiple mistakes in setting ACC levies.” More>>

ALSO:

Fast Track: TPP Negotiations Set To Accelerate, Groser Says

Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership will accelerate in July, with New Zealand officials working to stitch up a deal by the month's end, according to Trade Minister Tim Groser. More>>

ALSO:

Floods: Initial Assessment Of Economic Impact

Authorities around the region have compiled an initial impact assessment for the Ministry of Civil Defence, putting the estimated cost of flood recovery at around $120 million... this early estimate includes social, built, and economic costs to business, but doesn’t include costs to the rural sector. More>>

ALSO:

Food: Govt Obesity Plan - No Tax Or Legislation

Speaking to Q+A’s Corin Dann this morning, health minister Jonathan Coleman said tackling obesity was at the top of the Government’s priority list, but there was “no evidence” a sugar tax worked, and further regulation was unnecessary. More>>

ALSO:

Treasury Docs On LVR Policy: Government Inaction Leads To Blurring Of Roles

The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Final EPA Decision: Tough Bar Set For Ruataniwha Dam

Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the dam has far less of an impact on the Tukituki river." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news