Royal HaskoningDHV partners with ABB as preferred supplier to provide standardized solution for its Nereda wastewater treatment technology

Royal HaskoningDHV partners with ABB as preferred supplier to provide standardized solution for its Nereda wastewater treatment technology

ABB has been chosen by Royal HaskoningDHV to provide standardized automation for its Nereda® wastewater treatment technology. The agreement, which will see the certification and integration of ABB Ability™ System 800xA with the Nereda® software process controller, enables the wastewater sector to further improve efficiency, performance and asset utilization.

Nereda® wastewater treatment plant in Garmerwolde, the Netherlands. Picture courtesy of Royal HaskoningDHV.
Nereda® wastewater treatment plant in Garmerwolde, the Netherlands. Picture courtesy of Royal HaskoningDHV.

ABB has been selected by Royal HaskoningDHV as a preferred global automation supplier for its Nereda® Technology, a sustainable and cost-effective wastewater treatment solution that purifies water using aerobic granular sludge (AGS).

The two companies will collaborate on research and development to further optimize automation solutions for wastewater treatment, a traditionally energy-intensive process that has resulted in the sector consuming up to three percent of the world’s total energy output1 and contributing over 1.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.2

The Aquasuite Nereda® controller, a smart software process controller through which plant operators can directly optimize plant performance, will be integrated into the ABB Ability™ 800xA Distributed Control System (DCS).

ABB’s automation platform will incorporate an electrical control system, a safety system and a collaboration enabler with the capacity to improve engineering efficiency, operator performance and asset utilization.

“Royal HaskoningDHV continues to drive innovation in water treatment and will further extend our leadership in the market through our collaboration with ABB and the integration of our complementary technologies,” said João Tiago de Almeida, Business Unit Director Water Technology Products at Royal HaskoningDHV.

With the United Nations predicting a 40 percent water deficit by 20403, converting wastewater through treatment for reuse is vital in helping bridge the gap between growing demand and scarcity of water.

“Optimizing wastewater treatment is key to addressing the challenge of water scarcity”, said Marco Achilea, Water Lead at ABB Energy Industries. “However, the cost and energy required to do so is often prohibitive, resulting in only approximately 50 percent of wastewater being treated globally.”

ABB’s Energy Transition Equation report found that harnessing digitalization and automation technologies to optimize wastewater treatment sites could reduce carbon emissions by up to 2,000 tons per annum4. With over 50,000 wastewater plants worldwide, there is an opportunity to save 100 million tons of CO25 per year and reduce water companies’ annual operational costs by up to $1.2 million6.

In 2022 ABB delivered its Ability™ Smart Solution for Wastewater, which is designed to optimize operations and reduce energy consumption in the water sector, delivering energy savings of up to 25 percent during aeration and pumping, as well as a 10 percent reduction in chemical usage. Now, through the collaboration with Royal HaskoningDHV, ABB can further optimize wastewater treatment for utilities.

As the original AGS technology, Nereda® significantly improves the century-old activated sludge process for treating wastewater. The granules provide a host for more intense treatment of the wastewater at a much faster pace than conventional activated sludge. This enables the process to meet strict compliance mandates while consuming up to 50 percent less electricity, in 75 percent less footprint than conventional aerobic sludge treatment processes with little or no chemical addition.

ABB’s Process Automation business automates, electrifies and digitalizes industrial operations that address a wide range of essential needs – from supplying energy, water and materials, to producing goods and transporting them to market. With its ~20,000 employees, leading technology and service expertise, ABB Process Automation helps customers in process, hybrid and maritime industries improve performance and safety of operations, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future.

ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on more than 130 years of excellence, ABB’s ~105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation.

Royal HaskoningDHV is an independent company dating from 1881 integrating engineering, design, consultancy, software and technology to deliver more added value for clients. Royal HaskoningDHV's award-winning Nereda® wastewater treatment solution is already being applied on six continents for municipal and industrial water. With over 100 Nereda® projects awarded and completed or being delivered across the world, Nereda® technology is a great example of sustainable wastewater treatment, providing industry leading standards of treated water with compact, lower power usage and little or no additional chemical use, using patented granular sludge technology.


[1] Circular Economy: Tapping the Power of Wastewater - International Water Association (
[2] Wastewater treatment for carbon capture and utilization | Nature Sustainability
[4] Average figures taken across findings for new (greenfield) and existing (brownfield) wastewater facilities


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