Successful Dutch trade mission to Italy

Following the successful Dutch trade mission to Italy, between 20 and 23 June 2017 and coinciding with the state visit by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, the Italian government announced a major investment of €8 billion in water infrastructure. This is, of course, a field in which Dutch expertise leads the world. “The Netherlands and Italy face the same challenges on climate change, food security and sustainability,” Ms. Lilianne Ploumen, foreign trade minister said. She added that; “Stepping up the exchange of knowledge and experience could greatly benefit both businesses and society in general in both our two countries”.

Trade flows and water infrastructure

The total value of trade flows between the Netherlands and Italy is more than €27 billion, with foodstuffs notably making up 8% of exports and 10% of imports. The importance of this sector prompted Ms. Ploumen and the King and Queen to visit the ‘Eataly’ food hall where the focus is on high-quality food. Not only Italian delicacies are on offer there, but also Dutch cuisine. “Italy is the Netherlands’ fifth-largest destination for goods exports” said Ms. Ploumen. “Many people aren’t aware of it, but Italy is one of our major economic partners.”

Nijhuis Industries involvement

The Water delegation was headed by Menno M. Holterman, CEO Nijhuis Industries,who actively participated in a Water Seminar & Matchmaking event on Wednesday June 21st in Rome and a Water Round Table about 5 important water related topics in Milan. Also present was Sales Director, Gabriele Versolato representing Nijhuis Industries in Italy .

The Water Seminar set the scene with the main European water challenges. It explained the Italian and Dutch ambitions and actions on these challenges and identified specific topics for Italian-Dutch cooperation and partnerships between the governments, knowledge institutes and enterprises. The roundtables in Milan were focusing on join business opportunities in Italy, the Netherlands, Central European countries and countries overseas where both Italy and The Netherlands have strong historical ties and paved the way for concrete follow-up actions and meetings during the Amsterdam International Water Week starting October 30.

Nijhuis Industries and the SESA group

A great example of Italian Dutch cooperation is the project where Nijhuis installed a rental unit, IPF90 on May 30 at Bioman Spa in Maniago, Pordenone. Bioman is part of the SESA group (Societa Estense Servizi Ambientali Spa), one of the leading waste processing companies in Italy. The purpose of the project was to delivery a temporary rental solution in order to deal with the fast growing amount of wastewater produce by the expanding plant.

The complete SESA group currently processes in more than 6 locations over 1,000,000 tonnes/year of organic household waste, being one of the most important waste processing companies in Italy.

Transforming waste into compost and resources
Bioman Spa processes 280,000 tonnes/year of organic urban waste, transforming it into a high-quality type of compost and other renewable resources (biogas, electricity and heat). A part of the produced biogas is converted into biomethane to be used for the Bioman Spa fleet of trucks and cars.

The effluent from the aerobic biological treatment is treated in a membrane system (Ultrafiltration and Reverse Osmosis) which processes 80% of the effluent into reused water for internal processes such as composting and cleaning. The remaining part is discharged to surface water.

MoU signed between Nijhuis and SESA group
The SESA group and Nijhuis signed a MoU during the successful trade mission between The Netherlands and Italy. The MoU describes the collaboration to solve the waste challenges in Northern Italy by further developing water treatment plants into resource recovery facilities. These centers will recover nutrients (NPK) from wastewater streams and circulate the nutrients back in the chain, supported by a favorable business case and as the ultimate response towards a circular economy. Nijhuis will provide the highest level of technological solutions, application knowledge and experience. Nijhuis technologies will include fermentation & biogas (AECOMIXTM), nutrient recovery (AECO-NAR), Dissolved Air Flotation (i-DAF) and aerobic biological purification (BIOCTOR).

More background information:

Click here for an event summary.

In case you want to see presentations or video's of the Water Seminar in Rome, you could click here

Click here for a review document of the initiatives and the future cooperation between Italy and the Netherlands.