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First published Waste Management Review // 18 April 2023
In this article, Waste Management Review reports on REMONDIS’ growing wastewater management experience in Australia
REMONDIS’s secret weapon? Drawing on expertise and synergies from other arms of the entire REMONDIS group, locally and globally
Determined to be part of the skills shortage solution, REMONDIS has established a specialised on-site operator training program supervised by senior operators and engineers
A year might seem inconsequential when you’ve been at the forefront of global wastewater management for many decades, but there have been milestones aplenty for REMONDIS in Australia over the past 12 months.
Since its commissioning in May 2022, REMONDIS’ wastewater treatment facility at Northgate in Brisbane has gone from strength to strength. The facility is licensed to process J120 waste oil/water, hydrocarbons/water mixtures or emulsions and has recently commenced accepting waste oil from third parties with capacity for 11.5 million litres per annum.
REMONDIS’ new Northgate facility operates alongside the company’s existing waste transfer station. Servicing south-east Queensland, its configuration allows for treatment of standard commercial wastewaters with scope for growth into more complex categories of commercial and industrial wastewater.
As with REMONDIS’ installations globally, emphasis has been placed on processes and procedures that drive efficiencies from the word go, with flexibility to ramp up as time progresses.
It has also been fertile ground for learning and development, with REMONDIS drawing on international expertise to strengthen local knowledge of world’s best practice in commercial wastewater treatment, enabling local teams to extract the most out of the plant, thereby delivering cost-efficient outcomes for clients and maximum environmental benefit.
“In the past few months we’ve been undertaking detailed checks and audits to see how we can make the facility even more efficient,” REMONDIS Aqua Australia Director Sebastian Weil said.
“Striving for efficiency at such facilities is business as usual for REMONDIS, a job that never really finishes.
“There’s an onus on everyone from engineering through to operations to look for improvements as the site evolves. Such team efforts are already resulting in more efficient unloading times, higher throughput, improved effluent quality and better separation of waste oil – it’s been a great team effort.”
Access to a global bank of know-how
A specific REMONDIS advantage is being able to draw on expertise and synergies from other arms of the entire REMONDIS group, including REMONDIS Australia's Integrated and Managed Services division (REMONDIS IMS), the country’s largest environmental managed services provider specialising in complex waste management, specialist recycling and commodity streams, site remediation and special projects.
Local collaborations have delivered a wider suite of services to REMONDIS’ water management service clients, which include Gladstone Regional Council and Aurizon.
Globally, REMONDIS is a leading provider of municipal and industrial water management services, providing sustainable water supply, wastewater treatment and sewage sludge recycling solutions. Innovative solutions include the award-winning TetraPhos® Process for recovering phosphorus from sewage sludge.
Research and development is constantly being driven forward throughout the REMONDIS Group.
“There are many emerging ideas and technologies we can cherry-pick, from across Australia and from our global network. The more we can tap into our bank of know-how the more we can look at passing cost savings onto customers, delivering better environmental outcomes and strengthening our position in the market generally,” Sebastian explained.
A specific area of focus at the Northgate facility is expansions to meet market demand for the handling of difficult-to-treat industrial wastewaters and sludges. On this front, the team is making plans to commission new treatment lines at the facility by the end of 2023.
“As industry becomes more conscious of their environmental footprints, the demand for local science-based solutions for complex industrial wastewaters grows,” REMONDIS Aqua Australia Operations Manager Thomas Hallam said.
“Gone are the days of wastewater disappearing into the back blocks or being hauled long distances by road to be dumped in rural areas.
“REMONDIS’ clients require a progressive, pro-active approach.”
Training skilled wastewater workers
Another priority is ensuring skilled workers are on hand to keep the facility and future facilities running, amidst a national worker shortage that is affecting many parts of industry. To address that problem, REMONDIS has looked within, going all out with in-house training programs.
“Another benefit of being a big global player is that we can tailor-make and mobilise training initiatives to sites such as Northgate,” Thomas said.
“Determined to be part of the skills shortage solution, we’ve established an on-site operator training program which is supervised by senior operators and engineers.
“We’re currently sponsoring two trainees who will end up with certification in water and wastewater treatment operations, leaving them with a strong combination of hands-on experience and e-learning.
“Once these first round of trainees have completed their courses, they’ll take up full time operator roles at other sites in Brisbane and Townsville, where their training can continue as the business continues to grow.
“The ‘home-grown’ approach to training is a big win-win for our employees and our clients.”
REMONDIS Australia’s specialised wastewater team provides water supply and wastewater treatment solutions for public and provide owned infrastructures – including all aspects of operations and maintenance, engineering design concepts, processing methodologies and regulatory compliance.
Across Australia, REMONDIS has more than 100 on-road liquids assets, ranging from mini liquid tankers to B-double liquid tanker combinations, and heavy industrial vacuum equipment for hydro excavation and drain cleaning.
Repute Communications Matthew Watson M +61 417 691 884
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