Italian water companies launch tender for largest European sludge plant

6 November 2019

Acque del Chiampo and Medio Chiampo, two publicly controlled companies managing purification plants and integrated water service in the Valle del Chiampo Water Basin Council, have launched an international tender to identify a technical partner to be entrusted with the design, implemention and management of a new plant to treat dried sludge.

The project will run until 2050.

The two companies collectively produce 35,000 tonnes of dried sludge every year, resulting from the treatment of wastewater from industry and households. At present, the dried sludge is disposed in landfills whose capacity will be exhausted over the next five years.

The plant will be built under a framework programme agreement signed in 2005 and renewed in 2017 by the Italian Ministry of the Environment and the Veneto Region. The agreement aims to rehabilitate the river system of Fratta Gorzone, for the purpose of safeguarding water resources and the environment by using new technologies as an alternative to landfill.

€530 million tender

The tender worth €530 million euros is open until 23 December 2019 and will run until 2050. It was unanimously approved by the board of directors during the shareholders' meeting of Acque del Chiampo and Medio Chiampo on 31 July 2019.

Commenting on the initiative, Andrea Pellizzari, CEO of Acque del Chiampo said: “The tender has two objectives. First, to select the operating partner that promotes the best technological solution. Second, to set up a NewCo entrusted with a 30-year contract to manage the dried sludge produced by the Acque del Chiampo and Medio Chiampo purifiers plants.”

The NewCo will be a holding company set up with the partner identified through the tender. The partner will be entitled to own between 61% and 70% of shares.

According to a draft plan by Acque del Chiampo, the new sludge treatment system will have to cover an area adding at least another 15,000 tonnes to the 35,000 produced by Acque del Chiampo and Medio Chiampo, so as to justify the economy of scale.

The new system will be strategic for the treatment of waste produced in the Veneto Region, one of Italy’s most industrialised areas.

New partner

The partner identified through the tender will be in charge of the identification of the area where to build the new plant. The plant, however, must not be located in the municipalities of the Valle del Chiampo Basin Council (Altissimo, Arzignano, Brendola, Chiampo, Crespadoro, Gambellara, Lonigo, Montebello Vicentino, Montecchio Maggiore, Montorso, Nogarole, San Pietro Mussolino, Zermeghedo).

“With this tender, we guarantee the continuity of the district’s activities for the next 30 years," Pellizzari added.

The tender was published on 6 August 2019 in the Official Journal of the EU.



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