News 2014

ICPE successfully concluded the International Training Programme on Wastewater Management and Solar Energy

The International Training Programme on Wastewater Management and Solar Energy, which took place from 10 to 15 February, organised by ICPE and co-sponsored by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) began with a warm welcome of the participants from Egypt, Sudan, Senegal and Mali, by the ICPE Acting Director General, Mr Janez Podobnik. Mr Podobnik briefly presented the history of ICPE, its successful past and current activities, particularly the postgraduate MBA programme carried out in collaboration with the Faculty of Economics of the University of Ljubljana and a number of the short training programmes.

The first part of the training focused on the wastewater management topics. To begin with, Dr Danijel Vrhovšek, the founder of LIMNOS presented a method for stabilization or, so-called, eco-remediation or ERM, a natural process and ability of water to rid itself of pollutants with the help of plants. The same day the participants visited the Central Wastewater Plant at Domžale – Kamnik, where Dr Meta Levstek, the Head of Laboratory, with her team presented the two-stage biological treatment plant designed to remove carbon components from wastewater and demonstrated how the wastewater treatment plant works in practice.

The second day the participants took an active part at the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which in cooperation with the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP), organized a conference and business meeting on the topic of water management. At the conference the participants learnt from the visiting Dutch companies and organizations presented best practices and experience in the field of water management, wastewater treatment, drinking water supply, flood protection and irrigation, since they would like to offer innovative approaches and holistic solutions in these areas. In the afternoon the set of lectures held at the ICPE premises discussed the topics on Wastewater and the environment, Sustainable technologies for wastewater treatment, and Environment pollution and phosphorus challenge.

The third day of the international training programme mostly focused on theory related to the Legislation guidelines for wastewater treatment in the European Union, Constructed wetlands structure and functioning as well as analysing some examples of constructed wetlands in Slovenia and around the world. Also, the participants analysed Wastewater treatment with microalgae, Sludge drying reed beds and Evapotranspiration systems and Green infrastructure. In addition, the participants of the International Training Programmes Mr Ismail El-Nadeef Ibrahim Moniem from Sudan and Mr Tamer Emam Salama Emam from Egypt presented wastewater management status and practices in their countries followed by a lively discussion. The day was finalized with a practical demo by the DeltaCore that provides innovative technology solutions for water purification challenges that are particularly fit in the remote areas or in the times of emergency.

The fourth day of the International Training Programme was a full day field trip three different horizontal constructed wetlands (CW) and wastewater treatment plants in Slovenia, namely CW at Bazga (constructed in 2006, capacity of 500 PE, three beds of the size of 1.430 m2, sedimentation basin of 2 x 19 m3); second, CW at Podsreda (constructed in May 2011, capacity of 50 PE, three beds of 100 m2, sedimentation basin of 6 m3); and third CW at Ponikva (constructed in 1991 – first constructed wetland in Slovenia, capacity of 350 PE, three beds of 600 m2). This field visit was an excellent demonstration of the constructed wetlands in practice and raised a lot of discussions analyzing their efficiency and effectiveness as well as some characteristics that enable their well performance over the long term.

In the evening Acting Director General Mr Podobnik opened the Certificate Ceremony sincerely congratulating the participants and warmly welcomed the invited guests in his speech. As the participants of the International Training Programme on Wastewater Management and Solar Energy now became like a “bridge” between ICPE and their home countries, Acting Director General expressed ICPE’s wish that this training would become one more significant step to further and more close cooperation between Egypt, Sudan and the ICPE. In his address, Acting Director General also extended his most sincere gratitude to HE Egyptian Ambassador, Mrs Heba Sidhom for her esteemed support and personal engagement that the participants from Egypt could come to ICPE. Likewise, Acting Director General thanked the Ambassador of Sudan, the then HE Mr Mahmoud Hassan Elamin and his colleagues at the Sudan Embassy in Vienna for their kind cooperation while preparing this training. Acting Director General also expressed his gratitude to the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in particular, Mr Šter, the Head of Consular Division for his advices and assistance in consular matters.

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On the fifth and also the last day of the international training programme, the participants attended an all-day field trip to two Slovenian most-advanced companies in solar energy and renewable technologies, namely Hidria Corporation and Robotina Group. This day well reflected that also in a small country like Slovenia there is much place for innovative technologies. The visit at Hidria Institute Klima in Godovič, one of three R&D centers of Hidria Corporation, the visit and the presentation focused on Hidria Solartec, renewable energy and energy management topics. While the visit in Robotina Group on Robotina products and R&D topics in domain of solar energy, energy management systems (combining sustainable and traditional), smart grids and energy storage, and how these innovative hardware and software solutions can be applied to enhance effectiveness in the wastewater treatment and ensuring accessibility to the drinking water particularly in remote areas as well as in both centralised and decentralised setting.

This training was a pilot project in cooperation with the OFID support yet the received feedback from participants was the most positive. As the anonymous evaluation by the participants at the end of the training indicated, over 90 per cent of the participants both content, including theoretical lectures and field visits, as well as logistic arrangements evaluated as excellent and very good.

To conclude, as ICPE Acting Director General Mr Podobnik highlighted, positivism, persistence and promotion of learning and knowledge sharing, readiness for cooperation as well as openness made this training possible and the ICPE already looks forward to future cooperation between African and Middle East countries and ICPE in various short-term training programmes as well as other projects and activities in the line with ICPE domain.

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International Training Programme on Wastewater Management and Solar Energy - 1st day report

 

 

On the first day of the International Training Programme on Wastewater Management and Solar Energy, organized by ICPE and co-sponsored by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Acting Director General of ICPE, Mr. Janez Podobnik, warmly welcomed the participants. ADG also presented the history of ICPE, ICPE’s successful past and current activities as well as the postgraduate MBA programme in cooperation with the Faculty of Economics of University of Ljubljana.

 

Then the participants listened to the lecture of Dr. Danijel Vrhovšek, founder of LIMNOS, Company for Applied Ecology Ltd. Dr. Vrhovšek presented Ecoremediation or ERM – a method for stabilization or for removing pollutants from contaminated sediments, soil and wastewater. It is based on the idea of self-purification, a natural process and ability of water to rid itself of pollutants, with the help of plants.

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With ERM being at the heart of every project of LIMNOS, Dr. Vrhovšek presented two innovative solutions to wastewater management, LIMNOWET and LIMNOS. The first is a constructed wetland (CW) and therefore an ecological solution for the treatment of wastewater (from households or industry) by aquatic plants, as Dr. Vrhovšek explained to the participants and the latter is an innovative rehabilitation method of landfill sites, approved in accordance with legislation. Due to their long-term, sustainability, efficiency, cost moderation and landscape attractiveness, this method is becoming more and more popular in Slovenia as well as the world.

 

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Dr. Vrhovšek concluded the lecture by asking the participants to think of ERM as a bridge between man and nature, to always turn to nature and see how it resolved the problem, as well as to remember the importance of teaching children about the environment.

The participants concluded their first day with a field trip to the Central Wastewater Plant, Domžale – Kamnik, where Dr. Meta Levstek presented the two-stage biological treatment plant designed to remove carbon components from wastewater.

 

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