Danish waste water treatment company Aarhus Vand A/S is looking at India's Smart Cities project to lend its expertise in setting up integrated sewage treatment plants with a focus on generating power, company officials said.
To start with the company is looking at Udaipur in Rajasthan to provide its domain expertise, officials told visiting international journalists at its Marselisborg sewage treatment plant in Aarhus, around 300 km from here.
"Owned by Aarhus municipality, the company while treating waste water generates power from bio-gas, fertiliser, and enable district heating system. The company also plans to recover phosphorous from the waste water," said Lars Schroder, Chief Executive Officer, Aarhus Water Ltd.
When pointed out the presence of sewage treatment plants in India, including in Udaipur and the absence for the need for district heating system, officials said Aarhus would provide its expertise in safe power generation from methane.
"In India the focus is on treatment of sewage water and not on energy. It may look easy to operate a waste water treatment plant, but it is not so. Power generation using methane has to be handled very carefully," said Per Overgaard Pedersen, Chief Engineer, Production Department and Research Development.
At its Marselisborg sewage treatment plant, Aarhus powers its gensets with biogas produced while treating the water.
The power generated is used to run the plant and also wheel the surplus to the grid. For a water and waste water treatment company power cost accounts for a major share, officials said.
According to Pedersen, the next round of discussion with the Udaipur municipal authorities is expected to happen in November 2017.
Apart from treating around 32 million cubic metres of waste water per year generated by around 350,000 people of the town, the 90 million euro turnover Aarhus also supplies drinking water to the populace and provides energy for district heating system.
The company supplies around 15 million cubic metres of drinking water per year here.
Pedersen said the company is setting up a phosphorous plant at an outlay of around two million euros.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan is in Denmark at the inviation of Aarhus Vand A/S. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)