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The project aims to build a sludge treatment unit at the East Alexandria wastewater treatment plant. This type of unit would be the first in Egypt outside Cairo and could act as a catalyst by encouraging the Government to create similar units nationwide. The project contracting authority is the Construction Authority for Potable Water and Wastewater (CAPW), the public implementing agency under the supervision of the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities.

Alexandria is the 2nd largest city in Egypt, with a total population of some 5 million inhabitants. The city has several wastewater treatment plants. The largest is the East Alexandria wastewater treatment plant, which has a treatment capacity of 800,000 m³ a day. The sludge produced by the East Alexandria wastewater treatment plant is currently subject to a dewatering process, but with no treatment. The sludge is transported by truck 45 km away to a landfill called “9N”, which is located in Nagaa Abou Bessissa in southwest Alexandria. This landfill, which was commissioned in 1997, gives rise to numerous complaints by the surrounding population because of the nuisances it causes (odors, insects, snakes). The “9N” landfill will soon reach saturation point.

With no alternative solution, the sludge produced by the East Alexandria wastewater treatment plant will need to be transported to a site even further away, located at 70-80 km from the plant.


The project aims to build a unit to treat sludge through anaerobic digestion (also known as methanization) at the East Alexandria wastewater treatment plant. This unit will be built on existing empty land covering an area of 12 feddans (approximately 50,400 m²), which is located inside the plant, and will include a new sludge thickening reservoir, digesters, gasometers, as well as a cogeneration unit. The aim of the project is to reuse the sludge produced by the plant in order to generate electricity and incomes. The project’s objectives are:

  • from an environmental perspective, to reduce the impact of wastewater treatment, including for the fight against climate change by reducing emissions;
  • from an economic and financial perspective, contribute to the balance of the sector in Alexandria;
  • from a social perspective, minimize nuisances for people living close to the plant and current landfill.

The project will have a number of positive impacts:

  • 30% to 35% reduction in the quantity of sludge produced.
  • Electricity generation (between 110,000 and 160,000 kWh a day) thanks to the biogas produced by the sludge treatment, allowing the plant to reach a 60-70% level of self-sufficiency in electricity.
  • Creation of market outlets for the sludge produced by selling it as fertilizer to farmers.
Project start date