Quality inspection for the world's largest wastewater plant

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Client: Sociedad de Aguas Hispano Mexicana, S. A. de C. V. (SAHM)

en-isl-2015-atotonilco map 306x172Client background: SAHM is a consortium of companies formed to construct and operate the Atotonilco wastewater treatment plant outside of Mexico City. The consortium will operate the plan for 22 years in an agreement with the Mexican national water commission (CONAGUA).

Project scope: Critical, heavy equipment inspection at vendor sites worldwide to one global certification schedule

Located near Mexico City, Mexico, the Atotonilco Wastewater Treatment Plant is designed to treat wastewater of one of the world’s most populated areas: Mexico City. For more than 100 years, wastewater and runoff from the megacity has irrigated the valleys to the north, providing water for thousands of hectares of crops. However, in recent years the water has led to sanitary and environmental problems.

This is why the Atotonilco is a key component of the National Water Commission’s long-term sustainable water management programme. It  is designed to take the wastewater from more than 10 million people and turn it into safer, cleaner water for crop irrigation in the Tula Valley. It also means that some towns will have clean water for the first time.

Prior to Atotonilco, only 8% of the wastewater coming from Mexico City was treated; that number will rise to 60% after the USD$786 million plant is operational.

The plant will also reuse methane from the treatment process to produce 60% of its electricity consumption.

Business challenge

Construction of the plant was an enormous logistical challenge. The planners had to coordinate high volumes of materials coming from around the world. Also, controlling the manufacture and shipment of heavy equipment from Europe and other global manufacturing sites was a key concern.

How Lloyd's Register helped

For more than 30 years, Lloyd’s Register’s team in Spain has been providing specialised inspection services to the wastewater treatment industry. We have developed a full set of requirements and criteria for all types of water management installations, from capture of wastewater to the desalination of seawater.

These live criteria inform the scopes of inspection and are continuously updated against new developments of standards and regulations as well as the practical experience of our surveyors. Using this experience we produced a manual of inspection procedures for Atotonilco. Our procedures help the client minimize the cost of their supply chain by providing a schedule of global certification tailored to their needs.

SAHM also benefited from our extensive network of international resources. Led by our office in Madrid, other LR offices in UK, Germany, Finland, Belgium, France, USA, Mexico and China were all used at some point in the project. More than 100 inspections were carried out in nine different countries. We provided independent certification of key electromechanical equipment for the plant, with inspection and witnessing of tests during fabrication and packaging, as well as monitoring deadlines for delivery.

Lloyd’s Register also has a long partnership with Acciona Agua, one of the investors in the Atotonilco project. We are Acciona Agua’s preferred third-party and vendor site inspection supplier for their projects in Spain and abroad, including plants in the UK, Australia, and Chile.

“We highlight the management of inspections by Lloyd’s Register for all supplies purchased internationally, in particular large equipment due to the size of the project and its high flow rates,” said Elena Cabeza del Pozo, Supplies Manager at PTAR Atotonilco. “It was very important that the coordination achieved between the LR and SAHM consortium teams meet time and quality standards required in Atotonilco.”

“Lloyd’s Register’s team exceeded these expectations, and through their coordination helped keep the project on track."