ACCIONA Agua takes its pioneering sustainable water treatment technology to Brazil



The Company wins its first contract -worth 25 million euros- in the country, for technical assistance in Operation & Maintenance of the Arrudas WWTP (Minas Gerais).

Targets annual savings of 1.5 million euros-worth of electrical energy and 6,400 tonnes of CO2 emissions at the plant.

ACCIONA Agua has entered the Brazilian market for the first time after winning a contract awarded by Copasa –the public-private company that runs the water supply and sewage in Minas Gerais, Brazil’s second-largest state- to provide technical assistance and maintenance for the Arrudas (Sábara region) Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). The 64-hectare plant boasts a treatment capacity for a population equivalent of 1.6 million inhabitants or 4.5 cubic metres per second. ACCIONA will carry out technology transfer for a period of four years, during which the Company will use its Operation & Maintenance processes to achieve environmental sustainability.

ACCIONA Agua will incorporate an electrical cogeneration system using biogas-driven micro-turbines, applying ultrasound to optimise the bio-fuel, and will use an odour treatment process to improve environmental conditions for the neighbouring towns and communities. The main goals of the 25 million-euro contract are: improve the sludge treatment, reduce the final volume and the amount of pollution that it produces; reduce the amount of dried sludge by around 10% using ultrasound, and obtain a 10% increase in biogas, which will be used to fuel the micro-turbines (the Arrudas WWTP will be the first in Brazil to apply this very recent technology, following on from USA, Spain and Germany); and improve the environmental conditions of the surrounding areas by avoiding the spread of unpleasant odours produced by raw wastewater.

Using its advanced technology, ACCIONA plans to ultimately lessen the Arrudas WWTP’s carbon footprint and achieve electrical energy savings at the plant. The project aims to develop a clean and regularly available energy source. Once ACCIONA Agua completes the technology transfer to Copasa, the latter will make annual electrical energy savings worth 1.5 million euros and will reduce annual CO2 emissions by 6,400 tonnes, which is the equivalent to the amount absorbed annually by 750,000 trees.

Brazil, a strategic country for ACCIONA

With this first Brazilian contract for its water services arm, ACCIONA broadens its range of activities in Brazil, which ranks alongside Australia, Canada, Chile, the UAE, USA, India, Mexico and Poland as one of the key strategic countries in ACCIONA’s push for international expansion.

ACCIONA also has a number of other activities in Brazil, namely in Concessions, Construction and Real Estate. In November 2007, the Company was awarded a contract for the financing, recovery, conservation, extension and running of the toll scheme for Brazil’s BR-393/RJ highway. The road, which runs 200.4 kilometres parallel to the border between the states of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, averages a daily traffic volume of 5,500 vehicles. The concession is for 25 years.

ACCIONA Real Estate first entered Brazil a year ago, when it acquired 213,000 square metres of land in Penedo (Rio de Janeiro State) for a 372-home housing development. This residential development –a one-off in the area- will feature 98,000 square metres of gardens and parkland, within a closed complex, and will provide round-the-clock security surveillance. Following the Penedo acquisition, ACCIONA Infrastructure purchased 102,560 square metres of land in Guarajú (Sao Paulo state) and Betim (Minas Gerais state) which will be the sites of residential developments comprising a total 1,370 homes.

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