Northumbrian Water has won a multi-million pound contract to set up and operate a new waste water treatment works in Gibraltar.
The construction value of the project is £22m, after which a 20-year operation and maintenance phase will commence.
The project will require unique innovative technology as there are two water systems in Gibraltar, one supplying drinking water and the other using sea water for all sanitary purposes.
The saline sea water content of the waste water presents an additional challenge to the normal sewage treatment equipment and processes.
Land availability on Gibraltar for the treatment works is also limited with the works to be built on a small site and include utilising existing underground tunnels in the Rock. It will be completely enclosed and landscaped to visually enhance the local environment.
The Gibraltar Government has appointed a joint venture between Northumbrian Services Limited, part of Northumbrian Water Group, and UK-based Modern Water Services Limited as the preferred bidder for the project.
Maxine Mayhew, commercial director of Northumbrian Water Group, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to deliver this exciting next step in waste water treatment development for Gibraltar which will enable Gibraltar to comply with the EU’s Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.
“This extension of our operating portfolio in England, Scotland, Ireland and Gibraltar is a further endorsement and recognition of Northumbrian Water being a trusted and expert provider of sustainable water services.
“It is also a tribute to our record as leaders in the UK water industry for sewage works compliance for the last six years.”
The plant will treat waste water from the 30,000 resident population of Gibraltar and another 30,000 workforce who travel across the Spanish border together with tourism visitors.
It will also be designed to receive storm flows, operate on low power requirements and to stringent odour controls required to comply with rigorous emission standards.
The waste water contract is an extension of the existing utility provision for Gibraltar by Northumbrian Water. It already operates a joint venture with the Gibraltar Government.
Discussions between the parties over the detailed terms of the project will start this week and further information will be made available as part of the planning and assessment process by the Gibraltar Government.