From Russia with sludge

Black & Veatch has successfully mobilised the design-build contract for St Petersburg's South West Wastewater Treatment Plant (SWWWTP) - almost two decades since construction first began.

The works will significantly reduce direct discharge pollution into the Gulf of Finland from the Russian Federation’s second largest city (total population 4.6M).

Construction of the SWWWTP commenced in 1987, with commissioning planned for 1992. However, lack of funding slowed building, and it effectively stopped in 1995 with less than half of the civil works completed.

In 1993, Vodokanal of St Petersburg commissioned YIT Corporation of Finland to review the development of the SWWWTP to incorporate changes in the wastewater and sludge treatment so compliance with the requirements of HELCOM could be ensured. It was proposed that an initial capacity of 250,000m /d be provided with provision for doubling the capacity. A preliminary design was completed, but the implementation of the project was not possible, due to lack of funding.

Further studies took place in 1997 for a long-term water-sector development programme, and in 2000, the pre-investment feasibility study was prepared. A task force was established to prepare a financially feasible investment project to complete the SWWWTP.

Comprising Vodokanal, Nordic Investment Bank and Nordic donor agencies, the task force concluded that existing, partially-constructed structures could be used in the final application.

Sludge incineration was recommended as the least-cost solution for final sludge disposal. One of the main objectives of the completion of SWWWTP was achieved with the closure of the major direct discharge points at pumping station No. 1 and at Krasnoselskaya WwTW.

The project included the disposal pipeline between the works and the Gulf of Finland, as well as work on the influent pipelines and incineration plant.

The contract, based on the FIDIC Conditions of Contract for Plant and Design-Build, was agreed for the construction of the SWWWTP to begin on 31 December 2002. It was signed by the SWTP Construction OY (comprising NCC International Ab, Skanska East Europe Oy and YIT Construction), with a 31-month construction period.

Procurement of equipment through donor-funded contracts has proved to be very challenging.

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