Issue 10 2010
The power of nature
The Nature Group PLC is the holding company for Nature Technology Solution AS, Nature Environmental Systems Ltd, Northern Treatment AS, SAR Treatment AS and Nature Port Reception Facilities (Gibraltar) Ltd.
The Group provides technology for advanced wastewater treatment, which includes both standard wastewater treatment units and bespoke solutions tailored to meet specific clients needs. Nature can also provide systems in modular containers, and full-scale treatment plants.
The environmental technology available from Nature can be used to treat different segments of effluent water, so for example, in the oil industry it can address:
- Contaminated water from drilling operations onshore/offshore
- Wastewater from oil refinery/production
- Water for reinjection/discharge
- Produced water for sea discharge
From the first wastewaters received and treated by Nature from the Jotun field in Norway in 1999, through environmental and decommissioning projects such as the Maureen platform and Sola Refinery site clean up, the Nature Group has consistently demonstrated its professional skills in terms of characterising contaminates, carrying out pilot studies and assessments, through to design of treatment solutions and provision of full documentation to client and regulatory authorities.
Today Nature is able to provide a full and transparent service to oil companies where requested, including collection from specified locations and shipment to facility, with certified treatment to disposal of separated waste streams. With Group facilities in other locations in SW Europe, this service is available to oil companies or contractors operating in North and West Africa. Associations with other key ports such as Rotterdam and Malta, enable the project management of larger collected volumes of oil wastewaters as required.
In addition to collection and transportation, Nature Group also offers containerised treatment units (CTUs) that provide small footprint capabilities (typically a six metre container) for treatment in isolated sites. The provision of these small footprint containerised treatment units, onshore or offshore, on day or throughput cost effective rates, is a developing element of Nature’s portfolio.
These containerised units were created in response to clients’ requirements and are built to full onshore and/or offshore standards and design criteria. These CTUs are typically supplied in 20′ standard containers, can have solids removal built in or as a separate attached module, with the Nature-designed dissolved air flotation (DAF) capabilities mounted on an internal skid for maintenance, with full dosing and measuring capabilities.
Nature Group works closely with its clients on the development of a CTU, with a pre-study of the case at the beginning, an environmental engineer site visit to establish the needs and possible challenges, sampling and laboratory testing of the water involved and a full report with recommended solution and cost estimate provided before commencing with the project. Nature can even provide pilot-scale units for dimensioning of a full-scale treatment plant/unit.
If a client is looking for an ‘on rig’ solution, then offshore treatment (whether that is on rig or platform treatment of slop tank volumes) is offered by Nature in Norway through it’s Northern Treatment subsidiary. Northern Treatment has proven capabilities of discharging cleaned slops waters to as low as ‘)”;>
Northern Treatment AS specialises in the treatment of oily and polluted wastewaters in offshore related activities, and built the first offshore treatment unit (OTU) for slop tank wastewaters on offshore installations, in response to the increasing costs associated with physical disposal logistics. Currently, wastewaters generated on offshore installations are shipped to shore and collected by companies dealing with specialist wastes and then delivered to the treatment facility. The costs associated with this chain of logistics are significant; there are also the environmental factors involved in transportation of large quantities of wastewaters.
The agent used by Nature to clean the polluted waters is patented and non-toxic. It significantly reduces dissolved (polar) hydrocarbons in addition to removing dispersed oil (non-polar) from water. Both laboratory and production tests show total hydrocarbon concentrations below five ppm are readily achievable. The agents consist of natural products and are documented as non-hazardous. The Nature bio-treatment uses no chemical agents, is constant flow and is low sludge producing.
Nature’s units test against other advanced bio-reactors favourably with a number of advantages. Physically the reactors have a high surface area per unit volume, high concentrations of biomass and longer mean cell residence time. The result, with its selected microbial populations, is high rates of BOD5 and COD removal, efficient mass transfer and low effluent concentrations in a small footprint package.
Despite the effects of the economic crisis on companies throughout Europe, in a recent Chairman’s Statement, Richard Eldridge reported continued growth in Nature Group revenues for the first half of 2010 to £3.36 million. He noted that in 2010 the Group has moved forwards, particularly in terms building staff, skills and opportunities.
One area that Richard highlighted as achieving increased revenues was Nature Group’s Port Reception Facilities (NPRF). Headquartered in Gibraltar, this division currently has over 7000m3 of reception and storage tankage for oily wastewaters. The NPRF facility processes the separated and dried oil recovered in the primary stages of treatment and treats the separated water to discharge to sea at the standards required by current EU and IMO environmental legislation. These capabilities offer the marine industry the opportunity to deliver slops to an approved location, which is capable of treating wastewaters to levels approaching the zero discharge targets set for the Mediterranean and elsewhere.
As a reflection of industry and legislative approval of its services, Nature now receives wastewaters collected in other port locations in the Atlantic and Mediterranean oceans. Nature has, in parallel, developed the skills and engineering capabilities to provide stand alone port waste treatment facilities in other locations, including the Middle East. A new port development in Oman has contracted Nature to design and commission an oil waste treatment facility servicing the Indian Ocean coastline, with a commissioning of facilities completion expected in 2011.
The Nature Group’s overall goal is to help its clients to be responsible. Today top performing companies fully recognise their moral and ethical duties with respect to the environment. They know that continuously minimising the environmental impact of their business is essential for their continued sustainable success, and Nature is proud to help its clients achieve their targets now and in the future.
Services: Water treatment solutions