In October 2017 the BAUER Group, Schrobenhausen/Germany, was awarded the contract to expand the world’s biggest industrial constructed wetland in the Sultanate of Oman on behalf of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), the leading oil and gas exploration and production company in the country (Figure 1). The plant’s first stage was completed in 2011 by the local subsidiary of BAUER Resources GmbH (BAUER Nimr LLC). The flagship project for treating contaminated water from oil extraction in the Sultanate of Oman in Nimr has won numerous international awards for excellence in sustainability, innovation and safety.
The innovative wetland treatment technology is unique in utilizing gravity-flow and natural processes to remove a heavy load of hydrocarbons from the water. The facility is remarkable for its size, covering 10.5 km2. In addition to the excellent treatment performance, with the hydrocarbon content in water being reduced to below 0.5 ppm at the outlet of the wetlands, almost 95 % of the crude oil entering the facility is recovered or removed without the use of electricity or chemicals. Following an expansion in 2014, 115,000 m3 can now run through the plant every day. Furthermore, the desert site has been converted into a home to more than 140 species of animals, including a multitude of birds, fish and reptiles.
The commissioned expansion will now see the plant’s capability being expanded by 60,000 m3/d to reach a total capacity of 175,000 m3/d. BAUER Nimr LLC will be responsible for designing, constructing and operating the plant until 2044. The entire project is worth over 160 m €, whereof the construction works amount to about one-quarter of the total volume. Construction will be finished by the end of 2019, after which Bauer will operate the plant on a 25-year basis.