Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. (“Ostara”), whose technology enables wastewater treatment plants to recover nutrients from wastewater and recycle them into an environmentally-safe fertiliser, has won its third major commercial contract in the U.S. This follows the announcement in September that Severn Trent Water’s Sewage Treatment Works in Derby, UK, had become the first plant in Europe to pilot the technology.
The Virginia-based Nansemond Wastewater Treatment Plant, which provides wastewater services for residents located near Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States, is expected to become fully operational in the first quarter of 2010. Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD), which owns and operates the Nansemond plant, will now have an environmental and cost-effective solution to ensure that unwanted polluting nutrients are removed from the plant’s wastewater stream, which will protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The discharge of nutrients into Chesapeake Bay causes algae blooms that choke surrounding marine life and upset the natural ecosystem, identified by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as one of the most serious problems affecting the Bay.
Wastewater treatment systems typically have major pipe clogging problems. They separate sewage sludge solids from liquids and while treated solids can be recycled as soil amendments, the liquids are usually reprocessed back through the system. In addition to clogging pipes, this also adds significant cost to the system, consuming up to 25 percent of the system's capacity.
Bill Balzer, Manager of the Nansemond Wastewater Treatment Plant, said: “The exciting thing about this partnership is that we are implementing a green, sustainable technology that is recovering a reusable resource – phosphorus – and creating a marketable product. It’s a cost-neutral project that will help us solve our nutrient challenges with an environmental benefit.”
Iyad Omari, who leads Frog Capital’s cleantech investments, said: "We are pleased with the progress that Ostara is making in penetrating its markets in the US and Europe. This is a company that is actively changing the industry it operates in and this latest contract is further evidence of considerable demand from operators of waste water treatment systems for the company’s technology.”
Ostara was recently named as a Global Cleantech 100 company by the Guardian News and Media and Cleantech Group™. Supported by the Carbon Trust, The Global Cleantech 100 is the first list to highlight and recognise the most promising private clean technology companies at the forefront of cleantech innovation offering solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Ostara is the only Canadian company on the Global Cleantech 100 list.
Last month Ostara announced that the City of York, Pennsylvania had commissioned Ostara to construct a Nutrient Recycling Facility at their York Wastewater Treatment Plant. In June 2009, Clean Water Services launched its commercial-scale nutrient recovery facility at their Durham Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in Oregon, which has the capacity to produce 500 tons of revenue-generating fertiliser by-product (called Crystal Green®) annually.
Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc., founded in 2005, is a Vancouver-based company commercializing proprietary technologies that recover resources from wastewater and recycle them into valuable products. Ostara's struvite recovery process, developed at the University of British Columbia, recovers pollutants that would otherwise be released into the environment, helps wastewater treatment plants reduce operating costs and meet environmental regulations, and provides municipalities and utilities with revenue from the sale of the recovered pollutants that are recycled into environmentally-friendly slow-release fertilizer, Crystal Green®. Ostara is backed by Frog Capital (UK) and VantagePoint Venture Partners (U.S.) For more information: visit www.ostara.com and www.crystalgreen.com.