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Guangzhou opens new wastewater plant
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A new wastewater treatment plant commenced operations yesterday as part of a wider effort to protect the Pearl River.

The Guangzhou Xilang wastewater treatment scheme is the nation's first public-private partnership sewage disposal plant.

The Guangzhou Wastewater Treatment Co Ltd, on behalf of the government of Guangzhou, partnered up with the US-based Earth Tech, a subsidiary of Tyco International, one of the world's top 500 multinationals.

With an investment of about US$130 million, the build-operation-transfer (BOT) plant will be capable of processing 260,000 cu m of wastewater a day. Under the agreement, the plant will be transferred to the government of Guangzhou in 17 years.

"The wastewater treatment plant reflects the determination of the provincial government of Guangdong and of the municipal government of Guangzhou to deal with sewage and protect the Pearl River," Liu Jun, chairman of Guangzhou Wastewater Treatment Co Ltd, said.

"And the cooperative mode of the partnership is a model that regional governments elsewhere could follow to deal with sewage and protect the water environment economically and efficiently."

Alan Krusi, president of Earth Tech, said: "The full operation of the plant has proven that there is a need for our service in China and we can cooperate well with our partners in China.

"China welcomes foreign investors to get involved in its water and wastewater treatment development.

Earth Tech is seeking new cooperative opportunities in China."

He said that his firm is particularly interested in similar projects in other cities in the Pearl River Delta, in north China, and those around the Taihu Lake in east China, where there was a massive blue-green algae outbreak earlier this year.

Earth Tech wants to find the right partners to help guarantee the success of each project, he said.

The Xilang project is the third one in China for Earth Tech, following others in the cities of Tianjin and Qinhuangdao in north China.

The Xilang project, which began construction in 2001, is one of four wastewater disposal projects set up in Guangzhou so far.

The starting-up ceremony of the Guangzhou Xilang Wastewater Treatment Plant

The new plant will help boost the city's wastewater disposal capacity to more than 2 million tons.

According to a recent report by the World Bank, the daily wastewater disposal capacity in the Pearl River Delta region is about 2.6 million cu m, or only about 30 percent of the amount discharged every day.

It is predicted that daily discharge of wastewater in the region will reach almost 12 million cu m by the year 2010, while its daily sewage disposal capacity will grow to 8.81 million cu m by 2010.

Bacteria-destroying ultraviolet facilities

Bacteria-destroying ultraviolet lamps

Water sample

(China Daily November 14, 2007)

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