80% work completed on green sewerage tunnel

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By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter  www.gulfnews.com

Abu Dhabi: A 41-kilometre ‘green’ tunnel, one of the largest and longest gravity-driven sewerage networks in the world, will ensure that odour emanating from sewerage system will be a thing of the past.

     Image Credit: Hadrian Hernandez/Gulf News     Engineers inside a portion of the tunnel being constructed for the Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Programme in Abu Dhabi.
Image Credit: Hadrian Hernandez/Gulf News Engineers inside a portion of the tunnel being constructed for the Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Programme in Abu Dhabi.

The eco-friendly tunnel will drastically reduce the carbon footprint of Abu Dhabi’s sewerage system and save Dh4.2 billion to be spent on energy and maintenance costs in the next 25 years.

About 33 kilometre that constitutes 80 per cent of the Strategic Tunnel enhancement Programme (STEP), costing Dh5.7 billion, has been completed by last month and the rest will be completed by the end of 2015, Abdullah Ali Musleh Al Ahbabi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC), announced on Monday.

The deep tunnel — up to 5.5 internal diameter and starting at 27-metre underground and reaching a depth of 100 metre — will not require regular maintenance for the next 80 years. The project began in 2009.

The tunnel starting from Karama area in Abu Dhabi city to Al Watbha treatment plant will triple the capacity of Abu Dhabi’s sewerage network, said Omar Al Hashimi, Head of Assets Department in ADSSC.The existing system deals with 400,000 m3 (cubic metre) sewage a day, but the new tunnel can carry 1.7 million m3 sewage, which is the expected demand by 2030, said Nasser Khalfan Al Nuaimi, Programme Management Department Manager at ADSSC.

The new tunnel will do away with 34 pumping stations in the existing system that consumes huge amount of energy, said Alan Thomson, managing director of ADSSC. They will be replaced by one pumping station at Al Watbha treatment plant, he said. More info