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ETHYDCO Transforms Petrochemical Water Management with Egypt's First Zero Liquid Discharge Plant

Alexandria, Egypt
Challenge: Designing a versatile zero liquid discharge system adaptable to varying feedwater conditions.
Solution: Aquatech's innovative solution integrates a combination of technologies and equipment configuration to meet ETHYDCO's operational flexibility and treated water demands.
Value Delivered: The plant efficiently treats ETHYDCO's wastewater, achieving zero liquid discharge compliance while reducing pollution on the Nile and minimizing river dependency.

This case study details how Aquatech worked with the Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Company (ETHYDCO) to provide Egypt with its first integrated zero liquid discharge plant.

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Image 1

FEDI Fractional Electrodeionization played a pivotal role in this integrated ZLD plant.

Enhancing Water Management in Petrochemical Production

Egyptian Ethylene and Derivates Company (ETHYDCO), an Egyptian joint venture, was created to produce Ethylene, Butadiene, and their derivates like Polyethylene and Poly-Butadiene. As part of its petrochemical complex in Alexandria, the company initiated the construction of a 460,000 T/Y Ethylene plant and a 20,000 T/Y Butadiene extraction plant. 

Ethydco took the proactive initiative to commission a zero liquid discharge (ZLD) plant to optimize a consistent composite mix of treated effluent and water from the Nile River canal. 


Designing a robust system adaptable to the plant’s varying feedwater proved challenging. The result is a facility capable of operating under seven pre-defined scenarios, responding to ever-changing site conditions. Aquatech’s integrated technology stood at the core of this treatment plant. 


Aquatech’s innovative solution integrates a combination of technologies and equipment configuration to meet ETHYDCO’s operational flexibility and treated water demands. The ZLD solution includes a microfiltration system and HERO™ High-Efficiency Reverse Osmosis technology for achieving >97% recovery across membrane systems. QUA’s FEDI® Fractional Electrodeionization follows this for high-quality demineralized water production, a two-stage thermal system consisting of a brine concentrator and crystallizer to achieve ZLD, and a sludge treatment system.

Solution 2

The FEDI system was pivotal in this integrated ZLD plant, chosen for its capability to handle variable feed conditions with its two-stage design. The system operates by receiving feed water from a single-pass HERO unit. This treated water is demineralized for the cooling tower blowdown used within the plant. The system includes:

  • FEDI Model: FEDI-2 30X
  • Number of Streams: 2 x 465 gpm (2 x 105 m3/h)
  • Number of Stacks: 60
  • Silica as SiO2: < 20 ppb
  • Conductivity: 0.1 mS/cm

The water treated by FEDI exceeds the plant's requirements, particularly in removing silica, which is made possible by the technology's enhanced design. 

Solution 3
Solution 4


Since 2015, the operational ZLD plant has treated ETHYDCO’s manufacturing site wastewater, yielding cooling tower makeup water and boiler feed water while achieving ZLD compliance. This initiative positioned ETHYDCO as a responsible industry leader, surpassing Egypt’s stringent ZLD norms.

In a region strained for drinking water resources, ETHYDCO’s ZLD facility substantially reduces the load on its only aquifer, the Nile, by reusing treated effluent as process water, reducing river for its day-to-day operational needs by 70%.

An Award-Winning Project 

Egypt’s inaugural integrated ZLD plant received distinction at Global Water Intelligence’s 2017 Global Water Award for the Industrial Water Project of the Year. It marked Egypt’s first such facility and highlighted ETHYDCO’s exceptional achievement in slashing abstraction and environmental discharges, offering a replicable breakthrough for a region heavily reliant on the oil economy. 

Award Winning Project 2

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