15 may 2018

Interview Jean-François Nogrette & Aude Giard

CEO & Chief Digital Officer of Veolia Water Technologies

What are the main challenges of the water world?
Jean-François Nogrette: We often talk about the issue of access to water. This is of course a very important topic that needs to be addressed, along with access to sanitation and the importance of water reuse. But there is another topic that we don’t address as much, and that I feel is very important, and that is the issue of trust.
In many parts of the world, we are sharing, exchanging and reusing water in various ways, through many different partners at a much faster pace than ever before. These exchanges must be based on trust, and trust can only be established through information.
Information about water quality, of course, quality of the water coming in, quality and composition of the water going out, but also information about chemical consumption, about the amount of sludge generated, of biogas produced and energy used. Information about hydraulics, about the network, even about the weather.
This information must be accurate and reliable, it must be available in real time, over a long period of time.
How can we get an accurate and reliable information?

JFN: This information can be obtained by establishing the digital plant.
For me, the digital plant is a lever to boost operational performance and it is also a way to solidify a long-term pact with the client. This pact of trust is based on real-time data paired with water treatment expertise and a worldwide benchmark.
The world is changing fast, technologies need to respond to an increasingly complex environment and help us address the challenges of water scarcity and water reuse. And as I mentioned before, they need to secure the trust of the client and of the end-user.
Water is either an ingredient of customers’ value creation or a cost of compliance but either way, it needs to flow as per expectations. Implementing a digital plant can help clients focus on their own business value and on the performance of their daily operations.
These digital tools need to be flexible, they need to be available 24/7, and most importantly, they need to be available on a highly secured Cloud platform. This is how we can provide information to our clients and establish a long-term relationship based on trust.
Could you give us an example of the benefits of a digital plant?
Aude Giard: Yes of course, we have several projects. One example is our customer BlueKolding who optimized its energy consumption thanks to our digital offer AQUAVISTATM.
BlueKolding is an environment, energy, and climate company which covers the entire municipality of Kolding in Denmark. They are inspired by the concept of blue economy and and are constantly working to find new ways of exploiting the resources in wastewater and improving processes to clean it.
Veolia has been working with BlueKolding for several years. In 2017, they decided to adopt our digital service offering Aquavista. Doing this gave them access to a sort of digital
autopilot at the service of energy optimization, while maintaining  robust and sustainable water treatment.
They had the flexibility to choose which features of AQUAVISTA™ they wanted to activate on the processes in their plant. They have access to real-time cloud-based information that optimizes energy use and energy production through biogas. It also optimizes sludge production and recirculation
How far does Aquavista help the municipalities and industrial companies to better operate their plants?
AG: AQUAVISTA™ is a complete suite of digital services using internet-of-things, advanced analytics and our water treatment expertise. We developed Aquavista on several of our existing technologies, on solutions provided to our customers during these past few decades and on our design & build experience. We are really lucky to be able to take advantage of these VWT long-term experiences. Innovation is in our DNA and we count on this new offer to improve the operations of our clients’ plants.
AQUAVISTA™ is not just one offer, it presents four different modules which can be adapted to our different clients’ needs.
A customer portal which provides real-time remote monitoring of equipment and alert management to our clients.
The AQUAVISTA™ Plant, our most complete offer, is a stack of remote controls algorithms that embed twenty five years of process knowledge of our engineers in Denmark. This product provides realtime remote controls on drinking water & wastewater treatment plants (municipal and industrial).
We have some other modules in the pipeline, for example, a module called ‘‘Assist’’ which aims to provide our customers with remote expertise by giving access to the network of VWT process and commissioning engineers (water quality reports, compliance reports, online expertise, etc.).
And we have an “Insight” module, based on more advanced analytics, looking at long-term data, liaising operational information and financial information to deliver business decision KPIs and enable operators and managers to simulate the impact of an operational decision.
As a digital services solution, AQUAVISTA™ is value driven.
Our ambition is to deliver high value services to our customers and address their key business stakes and industrial challenges :
  • increase their operational efficiency and plant uptime,
  • improve their water quality anytime anywhere
  • ensure the output effluent complies with regulation for a better environmental footprint
  • work on the complex energy exchanges the plant perimeters: biogas management optimization, SMARTGrid and energy balance, water network optimization, etc.
Connecting our customers to Aquavista will make them better operators of our technologies and will boost their own value creation!

Scheme Interview JFN & AG