New MBR technology receives funding to build demonstration scale plant.

Aquatec Maxcon has developed a novel Anaerobic Membrane BioReactor (MBR) which, in collaboration with Trisco Foods, has been tested at pilot scale with excellent results.

The new technology revolutionises the way that food wastes are processed, producing renewable biofuel that can used on site for heating and power generation.  The MBR technology is a missing link in that it can deal with high levels of fats, oil and grease and convert them to biogas in a much smaller footprint than a conventional digestion solution.  The MBR technology, can be used routinely in food processing and biofuel producing industries, such as distilleries, to become more competitive, as waste produced can be converted to biofuel and contribute to site energy savings as well as significantly reducing waste disposal costs.

The project is to be funded out of the Advance Queensland $5 million Biofutures Commercialisation Program and enables the pilot plant to increase to commercial demonstration scale.

In a joint media statement, Queensland Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy, Leeanne Enoch, said “We want to see the biofutures industry grow in Queensland.  That’s why we’re prepared to invest in people and companies with new ideas to get new technologies up and running”.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said “In order to take the technology to national and international markets, upscaling the technology to demonstration standard is essential.  That’s why we’re providing this funding because we want to see ideas like this exported from Queensland to the rest of Australia and around the world.”

David Leinster, Industrial Water and Waste to Energy Specialist for Aquatec Maxcon, said “We would like to thank Trisco Foods who have been an exceptional collaborative partner and the Queensland Government for recognising the importance of optimising this new technology and showcasing it for prospective future users. Upon completion, the project will be a commercial scale proof of concept which will allow prospective customers to view the technology in operation and transfer knowledge of this novel treatment concept to national and international markets”.

The demonstration plant is planned for completion within twelve months.

AnMBR Unit


AnMBR permeate1


Yarra Valley Water officially opens Waste to Energy Facility

The Hon Lisa Neville MP, Victorian Minister for Water, officially opened the Yarra Valley Water’s $27 million Waste to Energy facility in Wollert on the 14th June.  The purpose-built facility converts organic waste such as food scraps, into renewable energy.  This occurs via the production of methane gas (biogas) which powers generators to produce electricity. 

This process saves up to 30,000 tonnes of waste, otherwise bound for landfill each year.   The amount of energy produced by the new facility is the equivalent of about 25 per cent of Yarra Valley Water’s overall energy requirements.  The goal is to produce 100% renewable energy within the next 10 years. 

Aquatec Maxcon Victorian State Manager, Anthony Davey, said “It was a very exciting day for the project team who have worked on this for five years; from development, feasibility and design, to construction and successful operation. We used technology readily available from Europe for the waste handling facilities, cogeneration and digestion process. We had many hurdles along the way - The smarts were in getting the business models to work.  It is full credit to the Yarra Valley Water and Aquatec Maxcon personnel involved to see the plant fully operational and performing well”.

Pat McCafferty, Managing Director of Yarra Valley Water, thanked Aquatec Maxcon for partnering on the project and making it a success, saying “While similar facilities are in place in other parts of the world, a great deal of work was needed to determine whether we could make a facility of this kind a success in the Australian market”.  

Watch the opening of the plant via Channel Nine News here:

The Waste to Energy plant is enough to power the adjacent Aurora Sewage Treatment Plant and export surplus electricity to the grid as renewable energy – making the facility not just environmentally sustainable but also commercially viable. 

The Victorian Labor Government’s climate change plan for water (Water for Victoria) requires the water sector to be a leader in climate change mitigation and adaption and to adopt a target of at least 25 per cent renewable energy by 2020.  Victorian Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, said “This project is a great example of our water authorities meeting the challenges of the future.  By generating its own energy, rather than being dependent on purchasing energy, the facility will put downwards pressure on water bills for consumers”.  

Due to the success of this project a second plant is planned for construction by Yarra Valley Water. 

Photographs copyrighted to and kindly supplied by Yarra Valley Water.

 YVW Opening


YVW WtE 1 th


Award winning Kingaroy Wastewater Treatment Plant officially opens

The Aquatec Maxcon designed and constructed Kingaroy Wastewater Treatment Plant, owned and operated by South Burnett Regional Council, was officially opened on Monday 25th April.

The plant, which was completed in early 2016, has been operating without a hitch for a year and is the first of its kind within Australia to use ground-breaking Nereda® technology, developed by the Dutch company Royal HaskoningDHV.

The innovative Nereda® system uses granular activated sludge (biomass) to treat all of the town’s wastewater, which significantly reduces the need of chemicals and dramatically reduces the plant’s energy requirements.  This technology purifies wastewater and sewage into quality Class A+ recycled (drinking) water, surpassing official effluent standards, which can then be used for irrigation or released safely back into the environment.  

South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell said the old trickling filter sewage plant had been long overdue for replacement and the local environment had also been “crying out for a break” from low quality effluent.  

Aquatec Maxcon Managing Director, Greg Johnston, said the significance of the project could not be overstated with the operating costs now 45% less than a plant using conventional technology.  Mr Johnston continued to say “Effluent discharged from the Nereda® reactor is suitable for recycled water reclamation, so during the summer months up to half of the influent is going to be reused for local sports facilities – an excellent result for the local community.  Nereda® technology is new to Australia but is being used all over the world. I believe it sets a new standard in the biological treatment of wastewater.”

The $25 million plant, built on time and within budget, won the 2016 Engineering Excellence Award for Projects over $10 million.   

Kingaroy WWTP Ribbon Cutting 

 Photo credit:  South Burnett online   

 Kingaroy WWTP Opening

Photo credit: South Burnett Online

 Kingaroy WWTP Nereda Tank

Black Gully Wastewater Treatment Plant

Aquatec Maxcon are pleased to announce our appointment to deliver the new Black Gully Wastewater Treatment Plant (10 000 EP) in Emerald, Queensland for the Central Highlands Regional Council (CHRC). This award offers Aquatec Maxcon the opportunity to continue our long term involvement and support of the site, having supplied the existing surface aerators 20 years ago.

Aquatec Maxcon will be delivering the plant including all civil, mechanical and electrical components of the project which includes inter alia; inlet works, bioreactor, clarifiers, disinfection and associated pump stations, as well as the new waste sludge handling stream, including pre-thickening, aerobic digestion and new sludge drying beds to augment the existing plant.Black Gully WWTP

This award confirms Aquatec Maxcon’s capability and reputation to deliver regional treatment solutions, being of similar scope and nature to projects commissioned in 2016;

  1. Chinchilla STP (10 000EP) for Western Downs Regional Council and
  2. Kingaroy STP (12 500EP) for South Burnett Regional Council.

Aquatec Maxcon appreciates the opportunity to cater for the recent growth in Emerald, and looks forward to a successful partnership with CHRC, CH2M and local businesses to deliver this solution.

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