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  • Dear Readers!

    The refugee crisis, caused by the war in Syria, has awakened Europe from a deep slumber. Individual member states are outdoing each other – introducing one uncoordinated measure after another as they attempt to stem the seemingly never-ending flow of people desperately seeking help. Whilst Chancellor Merkel is hoping to bring about a European solution, others are closing their borders and seriously thinking about exiting the European Union. No matter where you look, people are saying the party is over. It is time now for facts rather than emotions to be brought to the table. Germany has around 81 million inhabitants and its economy has never been so good. Approximately one million refugees had entered the country when the state elections were held in Baden-Württemberg, Saxony-Anhalt and Rhineland-Pfalz on 13 March. To use the same metaphor: if 81 people are invited to a party and they are joined by one international guest, then the party is by no means over. On the contrary, there is a great opportunity here for the new guest’s culture, experience and vitality to enhance the event and make it even more interesting. 

    As Germany’s population continues to fall, demographers are assuming that the country will need around 500,000 new immigrants every year simply to keep its social security system functioning. In the future, therefore, we may find ourselves being grateful each time a migrant decides to stay and do an apprenticeship in our country. What is needed is genuine integration. The Minister for Labour, Social Affairs and Inclusion in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rainer Schmeltzer, recently published a brochure in four languages so that refugees could find out how the public transport system works in the district of Unna. Whilst talking to one of REMONDIS’ board members, he called on the recycling sector to do something similar. The majority of the migrants have little or no experience of using different coloured bins to separate waste. REMONDIS has stepped up to the mark and published a flyer in German, English, French, Farsi and Arabic. We would also be very pleased to receive applications from registered refugees wishing to do an apprenticeship at our company, for example to become a professional truck driver. 

    If the state of North Rhine-Westphalia were to be a country in its own right, then it would be among the top 10 European nations when it comes to population figures and economic power. The latest waste management report shows that our industry has become one of the biggest drivers of growth. Whilst traditional industries, such as coal, steel and energy, continue to decline, an ever increasing number of people are working in recycling, industrial and municipal services and water management. REMONDIS is both a driving force and the backbone of this really pleasing development. And what makes REMONDIS what it is, is its 32,000 employees who work for their local inhabitants and their municipal and industrial customers in 33 countries every single day. Looking at all this, it is a shame that politicians would appear to be paying so little attention to the IFAT exhibition which is being held in Munich from 30 May to 03 June. REMONDIS is going to be there even if the Federal Minister of the Environment is not. We look forward to seeing you there!

    Yours

    Ludger Rethmann

Services for more than one million people

OMS-Sacede, REMONDIS Aqua’s Spanish subsidiary, has been operating in the Spanish water sector since 1979. This successful company employs 100 people and has been part of the REMONDIS Group since 2009, providing water management services for more than one million people living around the country. Over the last few months, OMS has been awarded contracts from a number of new customers, considerably expanding its area of operations.

A wide range of tasks

Based in Barcelona, OMS provides services covering all aspects of water treatment. These include planning and engineering work as well as building and operating facilities for treating wastewater, recycling sewage sludge and recovering energy, both for the public and the private sector.

  • local residents in Zamora in the north-west of Spain benefit from OMS’ services

Operations in Andorra

REMONDIS Aqua’s subsidiary operates across the whole of the Iberian Peninsula although the majority of its business is in Catalonia, Valencia and Aragón. Most of its large municipal projects are located in these regions, with OMS running a variety of plants for its public sector clients. However, OMS can also, for example, be found in Zamora in the north west of Spain where, as part of a long-term concession model, it carries out wastewater treatment and operates the local sewage network for 130,000 local residents. Moreover, REMONDIS Aqua’s subsidiary manages three of the four wastewater treatment plants in Andorra, the tiny principality found in the Pyrenees.

Treating wastewater and recovering and recycling substances found in the wastewater are two important services offered by the water management sector.

Successful customer acquisitions

  • 2015 was a particularly successful year as far as acquiring new customers was concerned – both in the public and in the private sector. OMS-SACEDE’s ongoing strategy to strengthen its presence in the industrial sector is paying dividends now. It has, for example, just signed a five-year contract with Gelatines Juncà S.L, one of just a handful of companies in Spain that produce gelatin. OMS has been commissioned to build and operate an ultrafiltration plant to recover 80% of the production wastewater, which will significantly reduce water consumption at the plant.

    • The next stage of the plan is, at some time in the future, to recover the gelatin from the wastewater – either for reuse or to produce energy. Once again, this project demonstrates perfectly how REMONDIS Aqua and its subsidiary, OMS-SACEDE, are helping its customers in Spain with their state-of-the-art technology and extensive know-how – helping them to make the very most of their wastewater by recovering recyclable materials or using its contents to generate energy.

      Daniel Martínez Mustienes, Director General of OMS-SACEDE

    Combatting water shortages

    Efficient water management is vital in Spain, especially in the south of the country which has a particularly dry climate. And things are no different at Quirante Fruits, a large manufacturer of juice concentrates that primarily supplies customers in the north of Europe, including Lidl and ALDI. Faced with the water shortage at its site in southern Spain, the company had first believed it would not be able to expand its production facilities. Thanks to OMS SACEDE, however, 80% of its wastewater will now be recovered and treated so it can be re-used to produce steam and as a cooling agent. The way is now clear for Quirante Fruits to extend its operations despite the water shortage in the region and without it impacting negatively on the environment.

    Water management plays a particularly important role in Spain as the country has such a dry climate.

    Both these and other projects once again confirm that OMS SACEDE is one of the most important and most reliable partners for local authorities and industrial businesses in Spain – providing them with innovative water management solutions no matter what their requirements may be.

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