Arrabawn | Arrabawn presented with top environmental award for installation of high-tech wastewater treatment system
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Arrabawn presented with top environmental award for installation of high-tech wastewater treatment system

Ground-breaking, Irish developed NVP Energy system delivering sustainability

Thursday, 15 November 2018:  Arrabawn’s continued push for environmental gains has seen it jointly presented with a top national award for the installation of a ground-breaking, low-energy technology to treat wastewater at its Kilconnell, Co. Galway plant.

The co-op was presented with the Energy Globe Foundation national award alongside NVP Energy, which installed the technology, and will now go onto the international finals. The Energy Globe awards are the most prestigious in the world for sustainability and are held annually to recognise projects focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy and conservation of resources.

Arrabawn is leading the way as the first adopter in the dairy sector globally of the revolutionary waste-water treatment technology. The first installation of the technology developed by the Irish company was in 2016 at ABP Food Group’s Lurgan, Co. Armagh.

This 21st-century solution to wastewater treatment went operational at the Kilconnell plant in April 2017. This environmentally friendly technology is compact, odourless and produces biogas energy in the process of cleaning the wastewater.

Kilconnell is the first dairy site in the world to utilise a system of specialised microbes which convert wastewater into high-quality biogas at low temperature, developed in Ireland by NVP Energy. The low-temperature operation removes the need to heat incoming wastewater, enabling 100% use of the biogas as a renewable energy source for Arrabawn Dairies. The cleaned wastewater effluent is then suitable for release, under licence, into watercourse.

Through this investment, Arrabawn is putting the environment first with a ‘green’ technology, ensuring cleaner water and air quality for the local environment, while also reducing fossil fuel consumption to assist in achieving Ireland’s climate change commitments.

According to Arrabawn Quality & Technical Manager Jerry Ryan, “Our liquid milk plant at Kilconnell, Co. Galway was built in 2005 but volumes have quadrupled since so we needed to expand our wastewater treatment accordingly. We spoke to NVP Energy and were immediately won over on the system and everything since has proven this to be right.

“Within a week we were getting excellent results, with the process giving a Chemical Oxygen Demand reduction of 80%. Furthermore, the system has a small footprint and arrived here largely site-ready so it was very easy in terms of installation. It can be retrofitted to just about any plant. It also provides remote monitoring, which is a huge bonus as before now you didn’t know what was happening when you weren’t operating but now you can monitor it remotely. It really has been a great success for us.”

Said Michael Murray, MD from NVP Energy “We’re really delighted to have won this national award as it is further validation of our technology. We have had a really positive partnership with Arrabawn. They were only the second company to adopt this technology, which shows how forward-thinking they are as a business. They have a strong focus on the environment, so this was a perfect fit for them.

“NVP Energy is a disruptive solution for wastewater that treats wastewater at a fraction of the cost of other treatment technologies on the market. It reduces operating cost by over 60% and generates a high-quality biogas as a by-product for the end-user. This can be used to generate heat or electricity on the site, reduce their carbon footprint and fossil fuel cost usage. It also has a very short payback. On the back of this excellent collaboration with Arrabawn, we have expanded operations into the UK with projects secured in the brewing (Heineken), municipal (Welsh Water) and malting sectors.”

Unlike other early-stage companies that are hindered by unpatented inventions, the NVP Energy technology received patent approval in the US in September of last year and European patent approval just recently.  As a result, the company can move into these two key geographical markets with patented technology.

The NVP Energy Managing Director said he is confident about the future and is expecting to see rapid growth, built on a technology that is now proven, award-winning and has built a reputation largely through positive feedback from clients. “We are deploying a first-of-its-kind technology in these key market segments and we believe that no mid to low-strength wastewater is out of the technology’s reach.”