Impact Project Investment of the Year - Water: NIB

Channels: IMPACT

Companies: Nordic Investment Bank, NIB

People: Lena Korkea-aho

The Nordic Investment Bank's (NIB) loan for the collection, purification and distribution of water to treatment plant Hias IKS has scooped this year's Impact Project Investment of the Year - Water for both its urgency and its innovation.

The main investment is to replace the outdated Hamar drinking water plant, which was built in 1954. Construction started in 2019 and will be completed by the end of 2021, to improve water quality, increase capacity and renew connecting pipelines and pumping stations.

The framework loan agreement gives Hias IKS an option to borrow from NIB to co-finance its investments to upgrade its drinking water production and sewage treatment capacity.

Hias IKS will also construct a full-scale biological phosphorus removal process based on biofilm carriers for its wastewater treatment plant in Ottestad, which is about 130km north of Oslo. This will replace a chemical treatment step at the plant. The upgrade of the HIAS wastewater treatment plant will increase the treatment capacity, while improving the recovery of phosphorus from the wastewater treatment sludge.

Improved biogas production, together with avoiding the use of precipitation chemicals, will reduce the carbon footprint of the wastewater treatment. This will contribute to Hias' target to become carbon-neutral by 2020.

Lena Korkea-aho, senior environmental analyst at NIB, says: "Hias' projects for building a drinking water plant in Hamar, and constructing a biological phosphorus removal process in its wastewater treatment in Ottestad, align with NIB's mission to improve productivity and benefit the environment.

"Upgraded drinking water treatment is needed due to outdated infrastructure and a warmer climate causing lower quality of raw water intake from the nearby Lake Mjøsa."