Cambi, an award- win­ning com­pany in the waste in­dus­try re­cently opened a new Ther­mal Hy­drol­y­sis process plant in China.

Norway-Asia Business Review - - Contents - ANRIKE VISSER ambi’s

Cambi's award-win­ning process, ther­mal hy­drol­y­sis (Cam­biTHP ® ), is patented and sold world­wide. Sewage sludge and other or­ganic waste frac­tions are pre-treated at a high tem­per­a­ture and pres­sure (140 - 170ºC), be­fore anaer­o­bic di­ges­tion. This in­creases the bio­gas out­put and pro­duces high-qual­ity biosolids that can be used di­rectly as or­ganic fer­til­izer, ex­plains Mr Dragoș Tâlvescu, Mar­ket­ing Man­ager for Cambi.

Cambi started 25 years ago in Nor­way and has ex­panded into more than 20 dif­fer­ent coun­tries. Com­pared to tra­di­tional anaer­o­bic di­ges­tion meth­ods, Cambi’s “ad­vanced di­ges­tion” solution is much more com­pact, pro­duces more bio­gas and of­ten turns the waste prod­uct into a valu­able re­source. By now, Cambi’s method treats sewage sludge and food waste from more than 60 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide.

Re­duc­ing risks and cost, has­sle­free

“Tra­di­tional meth­ods leave a lot of wa­ter and or­ganic mat­ter in the resid­ual prod­uct from bio­gas pro­duc­tion. Safe dis­posal of the left­over “di­ges­tate” af­ter the anaer­o­bic di­ges­tion process can be very ex­pen­sive. Cambi’s tech­nol­ogy both con­verts more sludge mat­ter to bio­gas and makes de­wa­ter­ing more ef­fec­tive, and thus de­creases the vol­ume of waste to be dis­posed of. In ad­di­tion to in­creas­ing bio­gas pro­duc­tion, our process con­verts the ma­te­rial to a low-odour com­post­like fer­til­izer, and re­quires only a third of the bio-di­gester vol­ume com­pared to tra­di­tional meth­ods. This means that fewer, smaller in­stal­la­tions can process the same amount of sludge. In densely pop­u­lated ar­eas with ex­pen­sive land, this is an im­por­tant fac­tor, re­duc­ing the ini­tial plant foot­print, or al­low­ing for more waste to be treated with the same in­fra­struc­ture.

The in­no­va­tive process some­times re­quires an ad­di­tional over­all in­vest­ment, but this is com­pen­sated by the re­duced en­ergy and dis­posal costs. The bio­gas can be used on-site to pro­duce elec­tric­ity or it can be up­graded to bio-meth­ane for green transportation. Heat from cogeneration en­gines fu­elled by the bio­gas is used as steam in the sludge pre­treat­ment process. The elec­tric­ity can be used on-site or sold to the power grid. These are some of the rea­sons Bei­jing chose Cambi. For large cities, we are very of­ten the most re­li­able and cost-ef­fec­tive solution.”

Ma­jor mar­kets – Asia, the new cor­ner­stone

“We started in Nor­way, then the UK was our ma­jor mar­ket, but now we are fo­cus­ing more and more on China and the USA, while In­dia is sail­ing up as an im­por­tant fu­ture mar­ket. Most Cambi plants are in the UK, but with five new plants to be fully op­er­a­tional by early next year, Bei­jing will be the

city where Cambi pro­cesses most sludge. Here, 6000 tons per day of sewage sludge from 22 mil­lion peo­ple is col­lected at 13 dif­fer­ent wastew­a­ter treat­ment plants and then brought to five large sludge cen­tres for pro­cess­ing with Cambi’s tech­nol­ogy. We are also build­ing a plant in Sin­ga­pore and look­ing at sev­eral other op­por­tu­ni­ties in Asia’s big cities.

Sev­eral de­vel­op­ments are driv­ing the change to such ad­vanced bio­gas sys­tems in Asia. These in­clude the need to re­duce the car­bon foot­print, in­cen­tives for re­new­able en­ergy and anti-pol­lu­tion reg­u­la­tions. Also, we see that civic ac­tion by lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties plays an im­por­tant role in the choice of so­lu­tions for waste man­age­ment in in­dus­tri­alised de­vel­oped coun­tries, in­clud­ing Ja­pan and SouthKorea. Here, many large cities are densely pop­u­lated and or­ganic waste dis­posal is quite costly.

An­other area of in­ter­est is fast emerg­ing mar­kets like China and In­dia. They have large ur­ban pop­u­la­tions and city rapid growth. Fol­low­ing China, In­dia is seek­ing to leapfrog to new tech­nolo­gies for han­dling some of the prob­lems ac­com­pa­ny­ing de­vel­op­ment. In both coun­tries, we see long-term think­ing and the am­bi­tion to choose the best avail­able tech­nol­ogy.

In the be­gin­ning, China posed some dif­fi­cul­ties in terms of mar­ket ac­cess for Cambi. How­ever, af­ter 4 or 5 years of ar­du­ous aware­ness build­ing, ne­go­ti­a­tions and project de­vel­op­ment, we now have five projects in Bei­jing. We have learnt that de­vel­op­ing close re­la­tion­ships with the key stake­hold­ers and build­ing trust in a new mar­ket takes sig­nif­i­cant time and ef­fort, which most smaller com­pa­nies might not be able to com­mit to. In­no­va­tion Nor­way plays an essen­tial role dur­ing this long lead time to win­ning the first projects. Cambi par­tic­i­pates in sev­eral IN sup­ported mar­ket­ing ef­forts and net­works.

“Our in­stal­la­tion at XiaoHongMen wastew­a­ter treat­ment plant has been in suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tion for about one year. It was of­fi­cially opened in the pres­ence of Prime Min­is­ter Ms Erna Sol­berg on 6 April 2017. The sec­ond project at Gaobei­d­ian WWTP started com­mis­sion­ing early in 2017. The re­main­ing three plants, Qinghe, Huaifang and Guan­tun, are ex­pected to be in op­er­a­tion within the next 12 months. As part of the deal for the five projects, Cambi also en­tered into a China Part­ner­ship Agree­ment with Bei­jing Drainage Group and its sub­sidiary, Bei­jing Drainage Con­struc­tion Com­pany. To­gether with the Bei­jing Drainage Group, we are cur­rently look­ing at new prospects in China.” Cir­cu­lar Econ­omy

Cambi is also look­ing at projects in Malaysia, Viet­nam, the Philip­pines, and large cities all over the world as well as con­sid­er­ing ad­di­tional pro­duc­tion lo­ca­tions. “Our stan­dard­ized pro­duc­tion in the UK is cost com­pet­i­tive and en­sures high qual­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity, but we are con­sid­er­ing lo­cal pro­duc­tion as well, not the least to re­duce ship­ping costs and im­port taxes”. For ex­am­ple, the tanks and pip­ing used in the Bei­jing plants were pro­duced in China.

“In­no­va­tion is at the heart of ev­ery­thing we do in Cambi and we are an­i­mated by a strong de­sire to learn, im­prove and share our in­sights with cus­tomers. We are the most ex­pe­ri­enced and suc­cess­ful com­pany in our own niche, but this does not make us com­pla­cent. On the con­trary, we con­tinue to in­no­vate, well aware that, as re­new­ables are about to be­come a mass mar­ket, com­pe­ti­tion in­creases and our clients’ needs evolve.”

Cambi’s strat­egy in­cludes the de­vel­op­ment of new prod­ucts and ap­pli­ca­tions, Mr Tâlvescu shares. “We are highly aware of the global chal­lenges of pro­vid­ing food, wa­ter and en­ergy to all, in a sus­tain­able way. Cambi’s vi­sion is to make a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to ur­ban sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment world­wide by ad­dress­ing the key chal­lenges of the food-en­ergy-wa­ter nexus. Our ther­mal hy­drol­y­sis so­lu­tions are a very good il­lus­tra­tion of how to achieve a cir­cu­lar, sus­tain­able econ­omy in the years and decades to come. But our jour­ney is long, in an in­dus­try with long lead times, and we will work hard to al­ways of­fer re­li­able so­lu­tions and an un­par­al­leled ser­vice, ad­dress­ing the chal­lenges our clients face.

Cambi is com­mit­ted to stay fresh, con­tin­u­ously de­vel­op­ing our prod­ucts closer to the elu­sive, perfect process and de­sign. We al­ready of­fer smaller, stan­dard­ized ther­mal hy­drol­y­sis plants. In most cases, we de­liver the most cost and en­ergy ef­fi­cient solution, de­pend­ing on the spe­cific needs of each client.

We also have a head start in new in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions. At the mo­ment, our clients still need to get rid of the left-over waste at the end of the treat­ment process. We have sig­nif­i­cantly de­creased the waste vol­ume and im­proved its qual­ity, but we would now like to of­fer so­lu­tions for the fi­nal dis­posal as well. To this end, we re­cently an­nounced a col­lab­o­ra­tion with an ex­pe­ri­enced Nor­we­gian com­pany, Høst (in English, “Har­vest”).

Høst turns di­gested sludge and other or­ganic waste prod­ucts into biofer­til­izer and soil by ad­ding, among oth­ers, nu­tri­ents and sand. They are the main player in Nor­way, but their prod­ucts are al­ready highly ap­pre­ci­ated in Asia as well. To­gether with Høst, we lit­er­ally want to make the sludge and waste dis­ap­pear; sav­ing the client the ef­fort and money of dis­pos­ing of the left­over prod­uct, and mon­etis­ing it at the same time. All the while re­duc­ing green­house gas emis­sions.” Global Green Shift

“The five Bei­jing plants will, when com­pleted, re­duce an­nual green­house gas emis­sions by 300,000 tons of CO e

2 and pro­duce enough bio­gas to pro­vide elec­tric­ity to 150,000 house­holds. Ad­di­tion­ally, the re­sult­ing Class A biosolids can used in agri­cul­ture, ur­ban green spa­ces or like in Bei­jing’s case, re­for­esta­tion projects. In this way, Cambi’s tech­nol­ogy im­proves the ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment in Bei­jing and helps China meet its re­new­able en­ergy and cli­mate change goals. Cambi’s solution is also very well suited for China’s fu­ture “sponge cities”, an ambitious plan to de­sign ecosys­tems and man­age wa­ter re­sources sus­tain­ably, while avoid­ing re­cur­ring flood prob­lems.

Projects like this are at the heart of the global green trans­for­ma­tion. Cambi’s plants in Bei­jing, de­vel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Bei­jing Drainage Group, are good ex­am­ples of how en­vi­ron­men­tal tech­nol­ogy can take an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role in Nor­we­gian ex­ports. Green tech­nolo­gies are a pri­or­ity . for Nor­way, as in­dus­tries and cities strive to be­come greener, smarter and more in­no­va­tive.” Up­per left: Open­ing cer­e­mony for the Ther­mal Hy­drol­y­sis process plant at XiaoHongMen wastew­a­ter plant in April 2017. From left to right: Mr Per Lillebø, CEO of Cambi Group AS, H.E. Ms Mon­ica Mæ­land, Min­is­ter of Trade and In­dus­try of Nor­way, H.E. Mr Wang Min, Am­bas­sador of China to Nor­way, H.E. Ms Erna Sol­berg, Prime Min­is­ter of Nor­way, Mr Pan An­jun, Deputy Di­rec­tor of Bei­jing Wa­ter Author­ity, Mr Lin Xue­mei, Chair­man of Bei­jing Drainage Group Co., Ltd. and Mr Shi Lei, Gen­eral Man­ager of Bei­jing Drainage Con­struc­tion Co., Ltd.

Nor­mally the terms of Di­rec­tor China to the Nor­we­gian Seafood Coun­cil (NSC) are lim­ited to five years, but this time around ex­tra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances call for ex­tra­or­di­nary mea­sures.

“It’s like cook­ing potatoes to make them softer and eas­ily di­gestible. That’s what we do with sewage sludge and food waste be­fore we feed it to bac­te­ria to pro­duce bio­gas.” PHOTO:CAMBI

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