EIB backs Finnish water treatment

By Sandy Guthrie30 June 2015

The above ground facilities of the Blominmäki treatment plant, Finland. Actual water treatment will

The above ground facilities of the Blominmäki treatment plant, Finland. Actual water treatment will take place underground

The construction of a wastewater treatment plant at a new location in Blominmäki, Espoo, Finland, is being financed through a €100 million long-term loan to the Helsinki Region Environmental Services (HSY) by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

It is said that the energy efficient plant will perform to very high environmental standards, and it will replace an ageing plant serving several municipalities in the Helsinki region.

The plant is planned to be operational from the end of 2020, and it is intended that in 2040, it will be treating the wastewater of a population of 550,000, occupying a surface area of approximately 13ha, of which 10ha will be underground.

HSY said that the underground facilities of the treatment plant could eventually be expanded to cater for the wastewater of over a million residents, and so the new location of the treatment plant offered facilities for at least hundred years.

In recognition of the sensitive ecosystem of the Baltic Sea, the plant is designed to treat the wastewater to standards that surpass the goals of EU urban wastewater treatment legislation and local environmental objectives.

The sewage sludge will be treated and digested to produce biogas. Heat produced during the plant’s operation will also be recovered efficiently, resulting in thermal energy generation in excess of the plant’s consumption. Residual solids will be processed further into agricultural fertilisers with a high organic and nutrient content.

Jonathan Taylor, EIB vice president responsible for lending in Finland, said, “Support for sustainable drinking water supply services, wastewater treatment and improvement of aquatic biodiversity is one of the goals of the European Investment Bank.

“We are glad to be partnering with HSY in this project, as it will significantly reduce the pollution of receiving waters by sewage, address climate risks through energy recovery, and improve conditions for the inhabitants of the Helsinki region and the Baltic Sea generally.”

Raimo Inkinen, HSY executive director, said, “This new wastewater treatment plant is a large and long-term investment, for which exceptionally long-term financing is required. To this end, the EIB is able to provide a sustainable and effective financing solution commensurate with the expected life cycle of the new plant.”

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