The Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies South Africa-designed and constructed crystalliser at Ambatovy Mine in Madagascar has received an award of distinction from one of the world’s most prestigious awards ceremonies, the Global Water Intelligence Awards. The distinction, which falls under the Industrial Water Project of the Year category, was handed to the leading water treatment company at the annual awards ceremony in Spain.

One of the largest ammonium sulphate evaporation and crystallisation plants in the world and capable of producing up to 200 000 tons ammonium sulphate per annum, the plant has been labelled one of the most advanced technical achievements in the field of industrial wastewater.

Each year, the coveted Global Water Intelligence Awards are presented at the Global Water Summit, where the industry’s top managers acknowledge achievements in the international water industry from within several categories, including water company of the year, desalination company of the year, and other notable water treatment projects.

“We are proud to have been awarded such a prestigious accolade, and will continue to bring innovative technologies to improve wastewater treatment,” Gunter Rencken, Managing Director of Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies South Africa said of the achievement.

Zero liquid discharge

The Ambatovy Mine’s primary treatment system, part of the mine’s nickel and cobalt refinery, uses sulphuric acid, hydrogen sulphide and ammonia to extract valuable substances from slurried ore. The Veolia-built plant successfully treats the effluent streams from this process using state-of-the-art evaporation and crystallisation technology, which extracts the valuable ammonium sulphate by-product for resale into the agriculture industry as a soil fertiliser.

“The result is that maximum value is extracted from the ore, while all potentially harmful effluents are retained and treated within plant walls. This zero liquid discharge technology is fast becoming one of the world’s preferred methods of improving sustainability while maximising profitability at the same time,” concludes Rencken.

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