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Audits in Tamaulipas

Posted on October 28, 2013

Audits in Tamaulipas

Energy Audits Start at Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants in Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, Río Bravo, Matamoros, and Ciudad Victoria

Over the course of three days, from October 15 through the 17, operators of water and wastewater treatment plants and water wells in five border cities in the state of Tamaulipas began working on ways to become energy efficient. Supported through the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and funded through United States Environmental Protection Agency's Border 2012 program, these systems located in Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, Rio Bravo and Matamoros as well as in the state capital, Cd. Victoria, were shown how Energy Audits will help reduce operating costs.

The audits to be developed in the five major cities of Tamaulipas has a total cost of US $250,000 and will identify and analyze best practices to improve operational efficiency by optimizing energy use and processes, in addition it will provide the water utilities the necessary tools to develop strategies to strengthen their institutional capacity and increase their efficiency in the provision of services. The total cost will be funded with US $100,000 from BECC's Technical Assistance Program and the remaining amount allocated through the EPA's Border 2012 Program (now Border 2020).

Energy is considered a key element in the operation of water and wastewater utilities. Power costs generally represent between 5 and 40 percent of all operating costs for utilities worldwide, causing imbalances in their finances. Therefore, improving energy efficiency is one of the cornerstones of the actions aimed at reducing costs for utilities. Energy efficiency measures have a quick return on investment (usually less than five years).

Energy audits will analyze the use of electricity and other energy inputs, and each facility's operating features, as well as a review of operating condition efficiencies, including data obtained from hydraulic and electromechanical equipment measurements, and other factors. A portfolio of projects and recommendations leading to power savings will be developed as a result of this planning initiative.

The three-day event included a tour of facilities. Taking part of the tour were BECC's Program Manager Laureano Álvarez, Project Manager Carlos Acevedo and Project Engineers Abdías Moreno and Briselda Duarte. Other tour participants were the mayors of Rio Bravo and Ciudad Victoria, Rogelio Villaseñor and Alejandro Etienne, Eliseo García and José Manuel Morín from the Tamaulipas State Water Commission (CEAT), Gustavo Pantoja, Border 2020 Program liaison with the states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas, representatives of consulting firms Watergy México and URS Corporación México and managers and senior officials from the local utilities. CONAGUA was represented by Jorge Zapata.

In Reynosa, energy audits will be conducted at the Pastor Lozano Water Treatment Plant Intake, Water Treatment Plants 1 and 2, and pumping stations Jarachina and numbers 5, 6, 13, and 22.

In Rio Bravo, audits will be implemented at the Water Intake, the Water Treatment Plant, the Wastewater Treatment Plant, Water and Wastewater Pumping Stations, and the existing Lift Station.

In Matamoros, audits will take place at Water Treatment Plants 1 and 2, the River Intake, the Colonia Moderna Water Pumping Station, Water Treatment Plants 1 and 2, and two existing Pumping Stations for raw water and treated water, located in Colonia Moderna and the CIMA Industrial Park, respectively.

In Nuevo Laredo, energy audits will be conducted at the Downtown Water Treatment Plant, the International Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), the South-East Water Treatment Plant, and the North-West Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Energy audits in Ciudad Victoria will be at the Water Intake, at two of the booster units in the water intake, the Water Treatment Plant, five pumping stations, the Wastewater Treatment Plant, and 10 water wells.

Gerardo Guerra Astudillo, General Manager of the Matamoros Water and Wastewater Utility, said that this is certainly an excellent opportunity to operate the utility's electrical systems more efficiently and generate savings in terms of energy consumption and use of resources.

The five audits are expected to be completed by February 2014. As a result, the utilities will have a critical planning tool that will help them substantially reduce their operating costs once the recommended actions are implemented. The study may also recommend the use of renewable energy and eventually, the use of wastewater treatment plant sludge for methane extraction, with the possibility of combining power generation projects.

During his closing remarks after the three-day kick-off event in Ciudad Victoria, CEAT Director General, Jaime Felipe Cano, said the Commission will support the actions recommended by the audits, which will definitely improve the efficiency levels of the state utilities.




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