About This Project

Project 1: Operational optimization study of a sewage treatment plant investment


Our client planned to make an €8 million investment to build a new sewage treatment plant in an Industrial Complex in order to meet the new effluent limits set by the Integrated Environmental Authorization (IEA) in Spain. Altair performed an assessment of optimization possibilities for existing facilities both in the technical and organizational aspects, identifying a series of improvement actions that reduced the estimated investment requirement to €1.6 million.


We started with a two-folded analysis—from operational management and technical aspects to search for efficiency in the debugging process, optimization of existing processes and facilities for sewage treatment, and cost improvement measures through coordination, awareness and self-management.

After carefully examine the analyses results, we discovered that laminating the pollutant load at the input increases the installation’s performance and reduces the variability thereof at the output. Digging deep, a total of 34 operational management improvement actions have been identified: 62% self-management, 18% awareness and 9% coordination.

90% of the identified improvement actions aimed to reduce and/or laminate the effluent pollution load at the entrance to the sewage treatment plant without investing in a new one.


  1. The limits set by the IEA in COD and HC have been achieved with the implementation of operational management improvements.
  2. Operational management measures substantially reduce the investment required to comply with the effluent limits for all pollutants: €1.6 million instead of the €8 million initially planned, which greatly improved the client’s cost efficiency.

Project 2: Improvement of a waste management system design


Our client aimed to improve the waste measurement system in their refineries and industrial complexes with the objective to achieve the commitment of waste decrease by 50 kt during the period 2015-2020.


We started out with the initial information gathering (organigrams, procedures manuals, volumes and waste typology, etc.), installation visits, meetings with relevant personnel and internal and external best practice identification.

Once the information was in place, we set out to analyze the client’s waste evolution from year 2013 to 2015 and discovered that during these three years both hazard and non-hazard waste decreased in volume; however, the percentage of hazardous waste increased.

Further analyses of waste typology were carried out and four major categories of waste are defined, namely Refining Process Waste, Operations and Maintenance Waste, Commercial Activity Waste and Medical Waste. Several key indicators are identified for each waste category. They will enable us to verify if the system is working correctly and to detect opportunities for improvement.

The following step focused on the KPI definition prior to the design of a new waste management plan. We defined relevant KPIs for each group of waste and metrics and objectives to be achieved, then validated and agreed with the areas involved.

* The different phases were first executed in one pilot installation and then roll out to the rest of the refineries and industrial complexes.

Project 3: Best energy source selection for a new plant


Our client is an energetic project development and management company of land-based and floating Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) projects. The new plant energy requirement has to be analyzed according to the long-term investment needed for each of the different options available.

Background & Challenge

The company provides a number of services including the supply and trade of LNG volumes, the creation of new natural gas infrastructure including pipeline and natural gas liquefaction facilities, treatment and processing of natural gas into LNG, as well as technical engineering and design services related to the development and execution of natural gas infrastructure, transporting, shipping and storage of LNG.

To deliver opportunities for customers and meet their unique needs with access to the full spectrum of the LNG value chain, the client required a thorough valuation of infrastructure development, natural gas supply and project ownership, then provide a selection of best suited energy source that gives the best cost efficiency which in turn delivers value to the shareholders.


The objective was to determine which of the energy sources available would require less investment in the long run. We decided to adopt a mixed methodology of quantitative and qualitative studies:

  1. Analyze the investment required for each option: Extensive cost analyses taking into account initial investment and recurring costs have been carried out, and two primary options are defined.
  2. Based on the quantitative results, pros and cons were further specified for the two options: connecting to the grid or building a cogeneration power plant. Weighing the advantages of both options, we suggested two key criteria for the client’s decision: initial investment and recurring costs.


Spain, USA, Peru & Colombia

Analytics, Sustainability
Energy, Investment Plan, Sewage treatment, Waste Management

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