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Efficient wastewater treatment: The Danish city of Aarhus turns wastewater into green energy

The delegation of the city of Tema and Ghana Water on their visit to the Danish city of Aarhus visited one of the world’s most modern wastewater treatment plants, which has also become a power plant.

“One of the areas where we are looking for ideas and inspiration on this visit to Aarhus and in our future cooperation is efficient wastewater treatment, because we have a serious problem with wastewater”, the Mayor of Tema, Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La, announced upon his arrival to Aarhus early.

And on the second day of the visit, the Ghanaian delegation had a lot of inspiration when they were taken on a grand tour by their Danish partners at Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant, one of the most modern in the world, which does not only treat the dirty water, but in the process also turns the wastewater into green energy and produces even more electricity that it consumes. Thus, it turns wastewater treatment from traditionally consuming energy to in fact produce extra energy.

Too ambitious for Ghana, but still useful
“For Ghana Water it is very useful to be part of this cooperation and the visit to Aarhus,” Clifford Abdullah Braimah, Managing Director, Ghana Water, said after the visit to Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant. “Of course, we shall not be able to replicate exactly what we see in Aarhus, where operations are automated. But it is not about getting to what Aarhus Water is doing. It is about making our processes more efficient and improve our current performance.”

Peter De-veer, Deputy Managing Director, Ghana Water, added that Ghana Water has got a lot of work to do when returning from Denmark: “We have to go back and cut down on the costs and the wastage, because we are not planning well. Most of the time, we do adhoc maintenance, but if we sit down and plan efficiently, as we have seen here, we’ll be able to cut costs and be able to make our system run more efficiently.”

Can be rolled out from Tema to the rest of Ghana
The collaboration between the city of Tema and Ghana Water and their partners in Aarhus, Aarhus municipality and Aarhus Vand, forms part of the Strategic Sector Cooperation supported by Danida and facilitated by the Embassy of Denmark in Accra. It is expected to lead to an agreement about a 3 years project.

“And we believe that by the time the third year comes, Tema have developed into a model when it comes to water treatment and water supply to replicate in other regions for Ghana Water company,” Clifford Abdullah Braimah, Managing Director, Ghana Water, said.