Biogas project at Israeli wastewater plant to use 8 GE engines

By Anna Simet | October 16, 2013

An anaerobic digestion project underway at the largest wastewater treatment plant in Israel will use eight 1.4 megawatt (MW) ecomagination-qualified General Electric Jenbaucher engines to produce 11.2 MW of heat and power, GE announced.

The engines are scheduled to be delivered to Israel in April 2014 and installed by October 2014, according to GE, as part of a plant upgrade to improve the treatment plant’s efficiency and reduce its environmental impacts.

Owned and operated by Mey Ezor Dan Cooperative Agricultural Water Society Ltd. (MED), the Dan Region Wastewater Treatment Plant, known as Shafdan, is located south of Tel Aviv near the city of Rishon Lezion. It is the largest wastewater treatment plant in Israel, treating wastewater for 2 million people in central Israel, or 380,000 cubic meters per day. 

MED and design and construction partner CDM Smith have designed a new bioenergy facility that is currently under construction and will host eight anaerobic digesters with a volume of 13,200 cubic meters. They are believed to be among the largest in the world and will utilize a staged thermophilic anaerobic digestion process.

Besides the biogas cogeneration plant, which will provide on-site heat and power to operate the digesters and the rest of the wastewater treatment plant, the updates will also increase its wastewater accommodation, produce Class A biosolids for agricultural use, and include a new sludge thickening and dewatering facility and new headworks and primary sedimentation facilities.

Eli Matz, general manager Madei Taas, GE's authorized Israeli Jenbacher gas engines distributor, said GE’s Jenbacher units will generate up to 70 percent of the power required to run the facility and offer important energy savings during peak demand periods.

Last year, the Shafdan WWTP was selected by the United Nations as one of 30 projects that serve as global role models for how local authorities can deal with environmental problems.

Construction of the upgrades is scheduled to be complete in 2015.