While beneficial in the long run, this added infrastructure creates challenges in public sanitation, water supply, energy distribution, and land availability.
Located 35 kilometers from Jakarta’s central business district lies a self-contained industrial estate spanning over 2.000 hectares and containing more than 1.650 local and multinational corporations from 30 countries, such as the USA, Japan, France, UK, Netherlands, Australia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, and numerous others.
The industrial estate lies within a larger township with residential and commercial developments, a public transportation network, shopping, leisure and entertainment establishments, as well as a dry port, power plants, two water treatment plants, and a wastewater treatment facility among numerous other services.
The current wastewater treatment solution is an oxidation ditch operating at only 4 MLD (designed for 10.8 MLD). When development of the industrial estate is complete, the necessary wastewater treatment capacity will require expansion to 24 MLD.
Solving transport, energy, communications, waste management, and potable water supply proved feasible, yet effective wastewater management was the largest obstacle. These concerns escalate in areas where land is scarce and property value is at a premium.
The current oxidation ditch system consists of an exposed continuous channel “horseshoe” in shape, with surface rotors placed across the channel to move the wastewater.
The developer intends to upgrade the existing oxidation ditch from 4 to 6 MLD, with the remaining 18 MLD capacity to be added over five years in two phases of 9 MLD each. However, oxidation ditches require large amounts of land, limiting their feasibility in urban, surburban, or other areas where land acquisition costs are relatively high. Oxidation ditches (and other conventional wastewater treatment) also have a large “psychological” and physical footprint resulting from both the facility and requisite buffer zone due to their unappealing look and odour emissions.
With raw land costs in the area surrounding the industrial estate ranging from US$1,300 to US$1,500 per square meter, minimizing the treatment facility footprint was of paramount importance.
As a result, the developer considered building out the first 9 MLD phase with a more beneficial treatment solution.
The physical footprint of the Organica facility was over 30% smaller than the oxidation ditch originally contemplated by the developer. This reduction enabled the developer to satisfy the industrial estate’s sanitation needs without going through the expensive and extensive process of purchasing additional neighboring land.
The significance is clear when we translate this into monetary terms. By saving over 2,100 m2 of land, the developer was able to save almost US$3 million in land acquisition costs!
This footprint difference stems primarily from greater concentration of biomass per cubic meter of reactor space (as a result of the use of both plant roots and Organica’s proprietary bio-fiber media as fixed film carriers), as well as the characteristically aesthetic design of an Organica facility (which allows the structure to blend into the local surroundings).
Further, the industrial park is located right on a river bank, visible to commercial establishments across the river, with a college campus and hostel approximately 200 meters away.
By deciding to use the Organica solution, it is estimated that the developer saved up to $1.5 million in capital expenditures to build the wastewater treatment facility (and a further $3 million if you count land acquisition costs)!
The oxidation ditch also carried greater operational and maintenance costs, mainly due to 2x energy demand that would have resulted in 37% higher annual operating costs.
Over a 20-year Net Present Value (NPV) analysis, these economics become even more attractive.
By building an Organica facility, the developer attained a proven and efficient wastewater treatment solution that is uniquely reliable with a highly automated control system, delivering seamless and low maintenance operation.
With a space and energy efficient structure that looks like a botanical garden, the Organica facility could be seamlessly integrated into the industrial estate without negatively impacting the land value and improving the surroundings for the estate’s tenants.
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