Gepubliceerd op: 12 januari 2023

Dutch Clean Tech (DCT) has reached an important milestone on its way to realising sewage treatment plants in Kazakhstan. DCT signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the governor of the Almaty region (the ‘Akimat’) this week. The agreement is to result in the development, supply and management of sewage treatment plants worth €200 million. “This is a breakthrough,” says CEO Sander Pielkenrood, who has high hopes for similar trajectories in Mexico and Guatemala.

The document signed by DCT and the governor of Almaty marks an essential formal step. In fact, it paves the way for rolling out the unique concept with which DCT generated interest among Dutch and international investors. A concept that provides local and regional governments in numerous countries with essential infrastructure and clean water without having to invest tens to hundreds of millions in it themselves. In fact, many countries do not have that money.

Attractive approach

The concept in a nutshell: DCT invests in supply, installation and management of sewage treatment plants; local communities then pay for use according to a transparent structure. An approach attractive to Kazakhstan’s Almaty region. Central Asia’s largest country, independent since 1991, is experiencing the drawbacks of outdated treatment plants from its Soviet past. The current state of maintenance of some of these sewage treatment plants is very poor, the water quality is poor as well. Moreover, most sewage treatment plants do not operate (energy) efficiently because they were built 30 to 50 years ago.

Better surface water quality

The construction of new sewage treatment plants is of great importance. Currently, most sewage is not properly or untreated discharged to surface water. Resulting in major pollution. With new plants, the natural water balance and quality of surface water in lakes and rivers improves. This is badly needed.

Less energy consumption

Jasper Sluijmers, Dutch Clean Tech COO, signed the agreement in Almaty with the region’s governor, Sultangaziyev Marat, who has big ambitions for the region’s development. According to Jasper Sluijmers, communities large and small in Almaty are soon going to notice the benefits of the new facilities. “We offer a plug-and-play approach, which means we can build and deliver fairly quickly. The treated water can then be safely discharged, as well as reused for irrigation, district heating or industrial purposes. And that with about 30% less energy consumption compared to conventional treatment plants and about 40% less waste sludge, which can also be safely used for soil enrichment.”

Sander Pielkenrood: “Our revolutionary business model is based on the principle that regions and municipalities do not need to invest in ownership, but pay for use. With the signing, we can now start doing what we promised: developing smart and affordable technical solutions to provide clean water to communities in the Almaty region. The modular design and local approach will allow us to scale up quickly.”

Dutch Clean Tech plans to work with local contractors and suppliers in Kazakhstan as much as possible to build the sewage treatment plants. This will stimulate the local economy. Moreover, for the plants, the company employs mostly local people to manage and maintain the plants. Sander Pielkenrood: “We offer these people training and a job with a fair salary.”

Next steps

What are the next steps? Sander Pielkenrood: “We will have further discussions with the authorities in Almaty, followed by drawing up contracts. Then we make plans and cost calculations and present designs. If everything goes well, the first plant might still be operational in 2023, most of the other plants will be in 2024. “The breakthrough in Kazakhstan, Sander Pielkenrood hopes, will be followed by similar developments in Mexico and Guatemala in 2023. “In these countries, we hope to sign €200 million worth of contracts this year.”