Plans to revive tourism in the picturesque Passikudah bay on Sri Lanka’s east coast reached a milestone on 6 March, with the commissioning of a hi-tech central sewage and waste water treatment plant for the proposed National Holiday Resort, comprising of 13 star class hotels.
Hailed as the first Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the waste water infrastructure sector in Sri Lanka, the Rs. 185 million ‘Lakdiyatha Passikudah’ facility was designed and built, and will be operated for 20 years, by a joint venture involving the Veolia Water, India and Puritas Pvt. Ltd.
Veolia Water India, part of Veolia Water France, is a world leader in water and wastewater services. Puritas (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Haycarb PLC represents the Purification Sector of the Hayleys Group.
The unique BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) project comprises of a centralised treatment plant, more than eight kilometres of waste water lines and over four kilometres of treated water lines that link it with the 13 hotels spread over the 100 acres set aside for the resort. The plant utilises the new Moving Bed Bio Reactor (MBBR) technology to treat 750 M3 of sewage and kitchen waste a day, and is designed for 100 per cent recycling of treated water.
The central treatment plant was formally commissioned by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Director General of the Ministry of Economic Development Sunil Hettiarachchi, Hayleys Group Chairman/CEO Mohan Pandithage, Executive Vice President Veolia Water Systems Development Fabrice Brochet and Managing Director of Veolia Water India Patrick Rousseau, along with other dignitaries and senior officials of Veolia Water and Hayleys Group.
“This ground-breaking project reflects not only the Hayleys Group’s and our partner Veolia Water’s, competencies in large-scale environmental solutions, but also our commitment to support economic resurgence in post-conflict Sri Lanka,” Pandithage said, adding, “It illustrates the potential for public-private partnerships, particularly in infrastructure development.”
Speaking at the commissioning of the plant, Dr. Godahewa said one of the challenges in meeting the government’s targets for growth of the tourism industry is to ensure infrastructure is in place. “I am glad that Puritas and the Hayleys Group, together with Veolia won the contract to build this facility,” he said. “They have been very professional and delivered beyond expectations.”
Representing Veolia Water India, Rousseau said: “This project will play a decisive role in Sri Lanka’s development by showcasing that public private partnerships are actually a way of bringing the best of the both worlds and paving the way for more such partnerships in Sri Lanka.” He said the project also provides answers to environmental challenges by promoting green and innovative technologies in the field of water and wastewater treatment, to help Sri Lanka remain one of the world’s most beautiful countries.
Under the terms of the BOT agreement, the Lakdiyatha Passikudah plant will offer a concessionary rate to hotels for the first three years of its operation, in reciprocation of concessions granted by to the project by the Economic Development Ministry. Two of the 13 hotels at the resort are already in operation and the others are expected to be operational by the end of 2012, at which point the resort will offer a total of 930 rooms.
The centralised waste water treatment plant was designed and built with expertise in Sri Lanka and India, with equipment supplies from France, Sweden, Japan, India and Sri Lanka, while all civil works were built with local labour. Lakdiyatha has recruited and trained personnel from the Passikudah area to operate and maintain the plant under supervision of Puritas and Veolia Water.
A company that traces its origins to Compagnie Générale des Eaux founded in 1853, Veolia Water specialises in outsourcing services for municipal authorities, as well as industrial and service companies. It is also one of the world’s major designers of technological solutions and constructor of facilities needed in water and wastewater services. With 96,260 employees in 67 countries, Veolia Water provides water service to 100 million people and wastewater service to 71 million. The company’s 2010 revenue amounted to €12.1 billion.
Incorporated in 1995 as a fully-owned subsidiary of Haycarb PLC, the world’s leading producer of coconut shell based activated carbon, Puritas (Pvt) Ltd., provides consultancy and turnkey solutions for raw water and liquid, solid and gaseous effluent treatment. In addition, Puritas offers customised, innovative solutions to suit specific waste characteristics, site conditions and budgets. With its state-of-the-art analytical laboratory, Puritas differentiates its services by performing in-house analysis and running pilot-scale trials to optimise treatment processes. The company’s portfolio encompasses pollution control, water treatment, activated carbon products, energy and specialty chemicals.