KENYA – The Kenya Breweries Limited, subsidiary of the East African Breweries Limited, is investing nearly US$39.72 million in an effluent treatment plant to boost production efficiency at its upcoming Kisumu plant.

The three-phase wastewater treatment is part of the firm’s efforts to contribute to reduction of runaway pollution of Lake Victoria’s Winam Gulf.

According to a report by the Standard, officials have revealed that once a third phase under construction is completed, the modern brewery will be able to reuse nearly 90% of the almost 2 million litres of effluent water.

Additionally, the high capacity effluent treatment plant has the capacity to treat water laden in pollutants to levels where the water is safe enough for direct human consumption.

However, officials said that the water will only be recycled for use in the plant for the purposes of cooling, and cleansing of the apparatus and premises.

The investment is also expected to remove from the list of large water dependents of Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (Kiwasco), easing the strain on domestic users.

“Our water demand for the other processes such as system cooling and cleaning are as high.

…recycling the water will enable us meet sustainability goals while releasing much of our dependence on Kiwasco to serve other domestic and commercial needs,” said one of the officials

According to Jacob Bett, the head of engineering and packaging, the water treatment plant will integrate high-efficiency multistage technologies focused on reduction of effluent’s carbon oxygen demand (cod) and biochemical oxygen demand (bod).

“From the second stage the water is about 99 per cent pure, meeting parameters for release into a water body.

But we are introducing a third phase of treatment which would get rid of the 1 per cent impurity, leaving the water potable and safe for reuse in certain aspects of the production process.

The entire process is optimized to use as less water as possible,” he noted.

Additionally, Naphtali Ndungu the head of brewery and quality, highlighted that the plant will also ensure harvesting of carbon from the beer fermentation process in a bid to reduce the factory’s carbon footprint by around nine tonnes daily.

The Kisumu plant comes at an investment worth US$150 million and has a capacity to produce one million hectolitres per year of beer.