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CREC4-built sewage plant in Ulaanbaatar reaches new milestone

By MA CHENGUANG and ZHUANG QIANGE | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-07-06 09:45
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Builders from China Railway No 4 Engineering Group construct a sewage treatment plant in Ulaanbaatar, dubbed Mongolia's No 1 public well-being project. CAO HAORAN/FOR CHINA DAILY

With the help of a Chinese State-owned enterprise, Mongolia's No 1 project concerning people's livelihoods-a new central sewage treatment plant in the capital that will benefit 45 percent of the nation's residents-is on its way to a smooth completion and acceptance by August next year.

Construction of the plant in Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia, being built by the First Engineering Co Ltd of China Railway No 4 Engineering Group Co Ltd (CREC4), hit another milestone on March 31 with the successful concrete pouring into the inner walls of three reaction tanks.

This marked the simultaneous completion of three planned construction nodes in building the plant, dubbed the No 1 public wellbeing project of Ulaanbaatar, since the resumption of construction work from the COVID-19 disruptions.

Upon completion, it will become the largest of its size and the most modern plant with the most complex technological design in Mongolia, with a sewage treatment capacity of 250,000 cubic meters each day, 1.6 times its existing capacity, said Chen Hong, project manager from CREC4.

Located in the southwestern part of Ulaanbaatar, in the Songino Khairkhan district, the whole project includes the building of pump houses in an old plant area, sewage pipelines into the plant, the new central sewage treatment plant and the tailwater discharge channels.

The completed concrete pouring this time covers one inner wall in Zone 11, three inner walls in Zone 1 on the north side of the biological reaction pool, and two inner walls in Zone 5-all key processes for the subsequent construction in advancing the project.

It is expected that upon acceptance and trial operations, it will be officially handed over and put into operation on Feb 28, 2025, Chen said.

In its official inauguration on Feb 2, 2019, Mongolian President Ukhnaa Khurelsukh, who served as the nation's prime minister then, said Mongolia and China are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers, with many important buildings in Ulaanbaatar that were built with the help of Chinese friends, witnessing the friendship between the two neighbors.

The Ulaanbaatar Sewage Treatment Plant is a major project drawing top attention from the Mongolian people, he said, adding that upon completion, it will greatly elevate the living environment of Ulaanbaatar and improve public well-being.

Being the No 1 project drawing top attention from the Mongolian government and another "Friendship Project" between China and Mongolia, the plant officially commenced its construction on Feb 28, 2019.

"It will become a model project of pragmatic cooperation between Mongolia and China, as well as a new symbol of friendship between the two," he said.

During a visit to the work site of the plant on Aug 17, 2021, Begzhavyn Monkhbaatar, Mongolian minister for urban and construction development, applauded CREC4's efforts in overcoming the impact of COVID-19, and actively organizing the arrival of more personnel and construction materials.

In building the new plant, CREC4 has provided some 3,000 jobs for residents so far.

Local resident Tsedev, who goes by only one name, said he came to work on the plant in 2020 when the epidemic was rampant and many projects in Mongolia came to a halt.

At the guidance of Chinese staffers, he learned to read the Chinese project drawings and worked as a competent CREC4 builder, he said.

"The salary here is higher than many others, and I can also learn many new skills," he said, adding that his hard work has won recognition from CREC4, which awarded him the title of "Excellent Mongolian Worker" in 2021 as well as a bonus of 1,000 yuan ($149).

Project manager Chen stressed that the new plant will treat sludge by heating and producing biogas, meeting 50 percent of its own energy needs, and this is the first time Mongolia has introduced such advanced technology and environmentally friendly facilities.

Earlier, CREC4 helped to build the Development Center for Disabled Children in Mongolia, which won the "Best Architecture Award" for 2019, and the country's first expressway leading to the new airport in Ulaanbaatar, which opened to traffic in late 2017, said Han Xinliang, publicity chief of CREC4 First Engineering Co Ltd.

CREC4 is going all-out in smoothly linking the Belt and Road Initiative with Mongolia's Steppe Road Program, unveiled in November 2014 to reinvigorate its economy through transport and trade, Han said.

Currently, CREC4 is still constructing three projects in Mongolia, including the Qiaoba Mountain Highway Project in Eastern Mongolia, the Mining Project of 825m Middle Section of Ulan Mine in Mongolia, and the Project Manager of Commercial Residential Construction Project in Ulaanbaatar, he said.

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