UK-based Bluewater Bio has won a $2.6m (SAR9.7m) contract from Marafiq to upgrade a water treatment plant in Jubail Industrial City called IWTP-8.

Bluewater Bio will install its modular construction wastewater treatment system, Hybacs, to help Saudi utility firm Marafiq increase IWTP-8's treatment capacity by 150%. 

It is the company's first contract to install its patented Hybacs system in Saudi Arabia.

Marafiq claim it will be able to treat up to 50 million litres per day (MLD) of industrial wastewater after the upgrade. 

Tunisian EPC contractor EPPM was picked to manage enabling and civil construction work for the upgrade of the Saudi Arabian plant.

IWTP-8's upgrade will see 16 bioreactors installed and capacity enhancements to the plant's tertiary treatment system made.

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The scope of the London-based company's contract covers the supply of 16 bioreactors, process design, installation, supervision, and service maintenance.

As lead contractor for the project, EPPM will ensuring timely delivery of enabling, civil construction, and mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, control, and automation work.

"We look forward to working with EPPM and Marafiq in delivering our Hybacs process to help alleviate overloading at IWTP-8," commercial director of Bluewater Bio, Fergus Rooksby, said. 

"This contract will be our first Hybacs installation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and its marks a significant milestone in our Gulf expansion plans, building on our 100 MLD Hybacs plant at Tubli WPCC, Bahrain."

A first contract win in Saudi Arabia for the patented sludge process had put the firm in a good position make a bigger splash in the GCC's wastewater sector, Rooksby said.

"Bluewater Bio is well positioned to capture a significant proportion of projects requiring an uplift in capacity or tighter discharge consents across both the kingdom and the wider Gulf region," he said.

Bluewater Bio claim its wastewater treatment system can help wastewater plants double their capacity. And because it is a modular construction system that can be built without halting production, sites such as IWTP-8 will not face major downtime issues.

Located in Jubail Industrial City, one of the largest purpose-built industrial cities in the world, Marafiq's IWTP-8 has three parallel and separate treatment streams to clean industrial wastewater.