Deal inked to study water reclamation initiatives

(From left) IWK chief operating officer Mohd Zainal Zakaria, Narendran, PBAPP & PBA Holdings Bhd chief executive officer Pathmanathan K. and PBA group chief financial officer Dr Mary Ann Harris at the MOU signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

INDAH Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd (PBAPP) to explore the viability of recycling bio-effluent that is currently being released into waterways from three locations in Penang.

These three IWK Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), in Bayan Baru, Georgetown and Mak Mandin, currently discharge about 260 million litres per day (MLD) of bio-effluent.

The implementation of Water Reclamation Plants (WRP) in Klang Valley, Melaka and Penang can allow IWK to potentially recycle over 300 MLD.

IWK chief executive officer Narendran Maniam said the water reclamation initiative was part of IWK’s efforts to “minimise” future water shortages and “ease the pressure on our water sources.

“We are excited by the expansion of our water recycling efforts in Penang through this collaboration with PBAPP.

“With PBAPP on board and together with our other water operators, we are delighted with the potential to recycle over 300 MLD of our bio-effluent for the purpose of water reclamation, subject to the detailed feasibility study,” he said.

Besides the partnership with PBAPP, IWK is working with water operators and stakeholders in Selangor, Melaka and Johor to yield alternative water sources for non-potable purposes.

In 2021, IWK formed a partnership with Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor), through a special-purpose vehicle company, Central Water Reclamation Sdn Bhd (CWR), to jointly manage and develop WRP in the Klang Valley.

Through this collaboration, the bio-effluent by IWK is supplied to CWR’s WRP to produce non-potable reclaimed water.

“Since May 2021, CWR’s WRP in Setia Alam has commenced its operation and yielded 4 MLD of reclaimed water for industrial use.

“Apart from this, we are also looking at other collaboration opportunities at locations around IWK’s STPs,” said Narendran.

He said the potential of reclamation of bio-effluent is immense.

Being reused for industrial purposes as a start will reduce the amount of clean water used for nearly every step of the manufacturing and production process.

“We want to maximise water reuse options to ensure that our clean water sources are not stressed by industrial consumption.

“This is part of IWK’s waste-to-wealth initiatives, looking at alternative solutions such as the reuse of its treated effluent in line with the target to recycle 33% of the nation’s treated effluent by 2030 under the Green Technology Master Plan 2017-2030,” added Narendran.

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