SUEZ will design the first Zone Libellule of an industrial park in China

February 7th, 2017

SUEZ has won a design contract for the rehabilitation and expansion of the discharge constructed wetland at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP[1]), the largest petrochemical platform in Asia. This contract, which represents an investment of 18,5 million euros, is SUEZ’s first Zone Libellule[2] project in Asia and the largest for treating industrial wastewater.

SUEZ is in charge of industrial wastewater treatment and water supply for the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park since 2002. SUEZ also handles the treatment and recovery of hazardous waste since 2006. This new contract aims to rehabilitate the existing 13 hectares of discharge constructed wetland and to design a 23 hectares expansion. This zone is located downstream of the wastewater treatment plant operated by SUEZ. It is designed not only to achieve the tertiary treatment of effluents, but also includes guarantees for the elimination of pollutants, improving the quality of the water discharged into the environment and allowing for its re-use. Construction will begin in mid-2017, and the zone will be launched in 2018.

This Zone Libellule is the result of a unique engineering concept developed by SUEZ, which uses the treatment capabilities of the natural environment. The design of the SCIP project draws on feedback from the Zone Libellule pilot project—first put into operation in 2009 at the municipal wastewater treatment plant in Saint Just (Hérault, France)—as well as insights from the ZHART[3] R&D project (2012–2016) managed by the CIRSEE, the main research centre at SUEZ. Five years of research have allowed to enhance the Zone Libellule concept, by optimizing its design based on the micro- and macropollutants treatment goals and the local context.

This ecological engineering innovation will help improve the quality of SCIP’s treated wastewater, as measured by several industrial effluent pollution parameters: Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), metals, phosphorus, nitrogen, etc. Several hundreds plant species will be chosen based on their treatment capabilities, their salinity tolerance (owing to the high level of salinity in the park’s effluents) and their ecological characteristics. The diversity of habitats created will allow for colonisation by local plant and animal species adapted to live in wetlands.

What is a zone libellule (Dragonfly zone) ?

The Zone Libellule is an artificial wet area able to be placed downstream of the wastewater treatment plant and in which the development of biodiversity contributes towards combatting micro-pollutants, limiting their diffusion into fresh or salt water sources.

To learn more


The project is part of SUEZ’s initiative to support the Chinese authorities in developing solutions to conserve water resources, protect the environment and anticipate regulatory requirements. This constructed wetland is an example of circular economy, as it allows the re-use of wastewater and promotes the generation of renewable energy from solar panels and wind turbines, enabling the Zone Libellule to be self-sufficient in energy.

Designing new-generation wetlands for wastewater treatment thanks to the ZHART program

Ywann Penru, Project Manager within the Wastewater Treatment and Recovery Department at the CIRSEE , and the pilot of the ZHART project, reviews the conduct of the project, which was completed in 2016. Read more

SUEZ in China

SUEZ has been present for over 40 years in water and waste management in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. With 8,000 employees and over 60 joint ventures with local partners, SUEZ is helping authorities and industries develop innovative solutions to address climate change and sustainable resource management. The Group supplies drinking water to 20 million people, is the leader of waste management in Hong Kong and delivers its expertise in the management of environmental services to 11 industrial parks. In November 2016, SUEZ entered a new phase in its development by becoming the majority shareholder of its long‐standing partnership with NWS Holdings, enlarging their cooperation to all the businesses of the Group in China (Water, Recycling & Recovery). In 2015, SUEZ managed revenues of €1.2 billion generated by its activities in China.

[1]Shanghai Chemical Industry Park

[2]Deemed a discharge constructed wetland under French regulations

[3] Zones Humides ARTificielles (“Artificial Wetlands”)

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