Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Final sludge minimisation plant contract signed

The third, and final stage of construction contract for the Moa Point Sludge Minimisation Facility has been signed, keeping it on track for a 2026 completion date, Wellington City Council has announced.

The contract, executed with Council joint venture construction partners, HEB and McConnell Dowell Construction Ltd, is all-encompassing for the project and covers construction for the project including plant commissioning in 2026. 

The agreed contract price is within the project budget approved by Councillors in June 2023, Council said in a statement.

Deputy Mayor, Laurie Foon said the facility was critical to Wellington’s waste reduction and emission reduction goals.

“Currently, sludge must be mixed with general waste and buried at the landfill. Reducing the amount of sludge created through the treatment process means less sludge and less waste at the landfill. This facility is a key piece in the puzzle to enable the city to reduce general waste going to landfill by 50% by 2030,” said Cr Foon.

“The new facility will also reduce the amount of emissions created through the treatment process by 60 to 80%, a huge drop and a great step towards our goal of being a carbon-zero capital by 2050.”

Chief Infrastructure Officer, Siobhan Procter said signing off the third and overarching contract for the project, within the price that Council agreed to earlier this year, was a huge achievement.

“This is an incredibly complex project, what we’re doing here hasn’t been done in New Zealand before, so to get the contract signed, keeping things on track for completion in 2026, is a great way to wrap up the year,” she said.

The joint venture’s Project Director, Peter Hodgson said the signing of the final contract brought previous work together and “sets the project up to stay on target”.

“We’re committed to building something incredibly important for Wellingtonians. It’s a hugely complex project, and a great opportunity for the wastewater industry and the city,” he said.

Council says the partnership between Council and the McConnell Dowell and HEB joint venture is critical to the construction of the new Moa Point facility.

McConnell Dowell and HEB have worked together on complex wastewater projects for nine years, building the country’s largest wastewater treatment plant in Māngere, and the most technologically advanced wastewater treatment plant in Pukekohe.

The wider team drew on this experience, delivering cutting-edge industry innovation, to develop the design and construction methodologies that are making the new facility a reality, Council said.

“The Moa Point sludge minimisation facility is one of the most complex projects that the Council will deliver over the next few years and is a critical component of a much wider zero waste strategy and the Council’s goal of being a net zero carbon capital by 2050.”

“The product created through the new treatment process will be much easier to transport, and the city won’t need to pipe raw sludge nine kilometres through the city to Southern Landfill to be partially dried and buried in waste anymore.”

In July 2024, a levy will be introduced to ratepayers as part of a financing initiative to support the construction of the facility, Council said.

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