IDB Group Sustainable Infrastructure 360º Awards – 2016 Projects
Atotonilco Wastewater Treatment Plant
Winner of the Infrastructure 360° Project of the Year Award
Located in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico, Atotonilco is the largest wastewater treatment plant in Latin America. The 158-hectare project will treat and process up to 60% of the black water generated in the Valley of Mexico by 10.5 million people. With a treatment capacity of 35,000 liters of water per second, it will have a direct impact on the quality of life of the region of Mezquital Valley, with a population of 700,000, as this area receives most of the wastewater of the Valley of Mexico.
The project brings substantial sanitation and health benefits to farmers and local communities, as crops will from now on be irrigated with cleaner water, instead of the currently-used polluted water which poses serious environmental and public health concerns. Atotonilco will also have a strong socioeconomic impact in the area as it will create 4,000 jobs during the construction stage and will employ another 150 to operate the plant. The project is designed to be electrically self-sufficient, using the biogas produced during the digestion process to generate 32 MW of electricity and meet up to 70% of the energy demands of the facility, increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.
Mexico's National Water Commission (CONAGUA) commissioned the consortium Aguas Tratadas del Valle de Mexico the design, construction, and operation of the plant. The consortium is made up by Promotora de Desarrollo de América Latina S.A. de C.V. (IDEAL), Acciona Agua S.A., Atlatec S.A. de C.V., Desarrollo y Construcciones Urbanas S.A. de C.V. (DYCUSA), and Green Gas.
The Infrastructure 360° Award is given to the project that not only serves as a model of excellence in sustainability practices throughout a region, but also serves as an example of infrastructure’s ability to enable a region’s residents to live more successful lives. In this sense, Atotonilco’s positive impacts on the local environment and surrounding communities make the project the worthy recipient of the 2016 Infrastructure 360º Award.
CTR Rio Waste Treatment Center
Winner of the Infrastructure 360° People and Leadership Award
CTR Rio receives all the waste from Rio de Janeiro and the municipalities of Seropédica, Itaguaí and Mangaratiba. The project has replaced the Jardim Gramaxo open-air dump, one of the world's largest unregulated landfills which received all the trash from Rio de Janeiro and was highly controversial due to the environmental contamination and the presence of informal waste collectors. CTR Rio consists of a landfill, a biogas capture unit, a leachate treatment plant for processing into recycled water, a debris processing unit, and an environmental education center. This project is considered one of the few landfills in Brazil that comply with international standards, and is expected to have a great impact on air quality, as gas emissions will be captured and used for energy generation. In addition, the project team has developed a social inclusion plan for former trash pickers.
The center, with 220 hectares, is a concession of Rio de Janeiro City Hall COMLURB (Municipal Company for Urban Cleaning Services) to Ciclus (SERB - Sanitation and Renewable Energy of Brazil Inc.) with an investment of US$ 80 million. Júlio Simões and Haztech are the project sponsors.
The People and Leadership Award is given to the project that exhibits the greatest extent of positive impacts on people’s quality of life and the community where it is located, immediately and throughout the lifecycle of the project. CTR Rio has brought added value to nearby communities through educational initiatives and social inclusion programs, and has contributed to reduce pollution in the area.
Dominica Wind Farm
Winner of the Infrastructure 360° Climate and Environment Award
Dominica is a wind farm located in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and built in two stages (I and II), completed in 2014 and 2015, respectively. With an installed capacity of 200 MW and an estimated annual production of 260 GWh, the wind farm avoids over 303,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the equivalent of taking 64,000 cars off the road. The project represents an investment of 346 million dollars and has generated more than 600 jobs during the construction stage, with 40% of the staff being local.
The sponsor, Dominica Energia Limpia, a subsidiary of Enel Green Power México, developed a plan to preserve local habitat and promoted social programs to empower nearby communities through farming and reforestation workshops, as well as training on how to feed cattle during periods of drought. The project also improved community infrastructure, building sport facilities in two local schools and installing solar panels in the area.
In order to receive the Infrastructure 360° Award in this category, a project must demonstrate strong sustainability practices with an emphasis on climate change and the environment. Its contribution to diversity Mexico´s energy matrix as well as its innovative solutions to preserve local biodiversity and involve surrounding communities make Dominica a worthy recipient of the 2015 Infrastructure 360° Climate and Environment Award.