Clean water, clear future - a new wastewater plant in Rotterdam

BP’s new plant in the Netherlands offers strategic benefits

Nestled in one of the world’s busiest trading ports and largest fuel oil markets, our BP Rotterdam refinery is one of the largest refineries in Europe, and the largest in BP’s refining portfolio outside of the US with a processing capacity of 377 thousand barrels of crude oil a day.

The refinery relies on an on-site wastewater treatment facility to remove contaminants prior to returning clean water to the environment. Waste water comes from activities such as washing equipment, heating and cooling, drain water from storage tanks and rain water. Our Rotterdam refinery can treat and discharge up to 8,400 m³ of wastewater daily.

Built in 1980, the refinery’s original wastewater treatment facility was dated and presented a series of challenges for the refinery. Insufficient capacity at the facility was limiting the type of crude that the refinery could process, while also requiring it to send some waste water offsite for treatment. And, with likely regulatory change on the horizon, we also believed that the plant may not meet potential future regulatory standards. Finally, we were receiving complaints from local residents about odour associated with air emissions emitted during the treatment process.

Significant improvement in quality of water discharged from the facility

To address these challenges, the Rotterdam refinery team embarked on a 10-year journey to design and construct a brand new, fit-for-purpose, wastewater treatment plant that initiated operations in January 2015.

The facility was designed to provide operational flexibility so that it can still run at full capacity even if a component is shut down for maintenance. It can treat a greater variety of contaminants, which means the refinery can now process a more diverse array of crude oils, and waste water is no longer sent offsite for treatment. The new plant also encloses primary sources of odour, resulting in no community complaints about odour in 2015.

In addition to addressing the social and operational challenges, the new plant has significantly improved the quality of water discharged from the facility.

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