Every drop can be used at least twice

This Norwegian company aims to end water scarcity with a fleet of wastewater treatment barges

Photo: EnviroNor.com EnviroNor’s ships would turn wastewater into clean water for industry or irrigation.

Photo: EnviroNor.com
EnviroNor’s ships would turn wastewater into clean water for industry or irrigation.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

After years of drought in the Los Angeles area, mayor Eric Garcetti has launched his “Save the drop” conservation campaign. A Norwegian entrepreneur was just on TV-2 offering his help! His startup EnviroNor uses water-processing technology to convert secondhand oil barges into floating desalination and wastewater treatment plants. According to founder and CEO Sigmund “Siggy” Larsen, floating treatment plants would be a cheaper way to purify water, particularly in regions threatened by water scarcity and where land for desalination is lacking.

It’s cheaper to convert a ship into a desalination or wastewater treatment plant than to do it onshore. The planning process in most countries is significantly shorter for offshore infrastructure, according to Siggy. His venture combines Norwegian maritime and oil and gas know-how with Israeli proficiency in desalination and wastewater technologies. The ships can hold facilities capable of purifying wastewater, which could accommodate about 2.5 million people. By using old ships there is another environmental advantage: the life of a ship can be extended from 25 years to 60 years. The floating facilities do require energy to operate, but a portion of the activity of the wastewater treatment plants can be driven by biogas collected from the wastewater purification process.

EnviroNor was founded in 2011 by Siggy. He is an entrepreneur and a business and shipping executive from Norway. He has over 30 years of maritime industry experience. He is a long-time champion of sustainable practices and of corporate social responsibility. He has a genuine enthusiasm for creating a paradigm shift on how to solve the present and future challenges related to water. Siggy is also eager to share his knowledge with others. He created the concept and idea that formed the basis of the startup to promote the use of floating, offshore wastewater treatment and desalination solutions.

He presented the project to DNV GL in 2013. They are the world’s leading classification society in the maritime industry, and also the leading technical advisor to the global oil and gas industry. DNV GL embraced the concept. They established a project team to verify, prove, and enhance it. Together they proudly launched the concept a year ago. Now they offer clients a two-stage consultation and facility study.

The World Wildlife Foundation and Norwegian Red Cross have become partners. Innovation Norway is involved financially. They are the Norwegian Government’s instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises, and help lay the foundation for new and successful business endeavors.

The company’s slogan is that every drop can be used at least twice. The TV-2 reporter was drinking the water.

This article originally appeared in the May 1, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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Rasmus Falck

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo.