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Veolia wins public contract to operate Ovilléo, the new-generation wastewater treatment Plant for Métropole Européenne de Lille.

Press release: France – Water Business. Paris, Lille, October 16, 2017 (195.53 KB)

Following a call for tenders, Métropole Européenne de Lille (MEL) granted Veolia, through its subsidiary OTV Exploitation, the five-year public contract to operate Ovilléo, Marquette-lez-Lille wastewater treatment plant, (France), for around €40 million. With a treatment capacity of 620,000 population equivalent, Ovilléo is the largest new-generation wastewater treatment plant in Northern France.

Photothèque Veolia – Olivier Guerrin

With its treatment capacity of 620,000 population equivalent, the largest wastewater treatment plant in Northern France accumulates many challenges. In wet weather, for example, its hourly inflow can be as much as the equivalent to 11 Olympic swimming pools.
Ovilléo has two separate treatment lines, one treating wastewater (flow rate of 2.8 m3/s), and the other storm water (maximum flow rate of 5.3 m3/s) from MEL’s 37 constituent municipalities. The wastewater treatment complies with high standards for parameters such as nitrogen and phosphates, in order to protect the water quality in the river where the treated water is discharged. 
The plant is particularly remarkable for its production of biogas stored in gasometers, which covers approximately 94% of the plant’s heat energy needs; the remaining 6% is supplied by natural gas.
This biogas is used to fire the various boilers and cogeneration engines.
The methane produced is also used in a cogeneration plant which converts the gas into electricity, in a quantity sufficient for the annual consumption of the equivalent of 800 households.
The Marquette-lez-Lille plant’s location in a built-up urban area meant particular attention had to be paid to odor treatment: OTV, a Veolia subsidiary and leader of the consortium that built the plant, also added permanent control of emission sources and their treatment. These measures are designed to minimize any odor and noise problems for the neighboring communities.
In order to meet MEL’s expectations, Veolia has created a specific team for Ovilléo and a 24/24 information sharing service that operates completely transparently with MEL’s municipal services. A comprehensive dashboard for the elected officials, Urban Board, will include, for example, technical information and social network feeds. This is a more systematic smart-city approach guaranteeing performance of urban services.
On a technical level, this team will also be able to call on Veolia Group experts to conduct ambitious action plans aimed at improving performance, especially energy performance.
“Ovilléo is truly a 21st-century plant. We are proud to have been selected by Métropole Européenne de Lille for its operation,” says Frédéric Van Heems, Chief Executive Officer of Water for Veolia in France. “Perfectly integrated into its region, this new-generation plant is an extraordinary concentrate of environmental and technological innovation. Marquette is now ahead of the curve for wastewater treatment.


Veolia group is the global leader in optimised resource management. With over 163,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them. In 2016, the Veolia group supplied 100 million people with drinking water and 61 million people with wastewater service, produced 54 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 30 million metric tonnes of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €24.39 billion in 2016.


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