Water Industry News

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. debuts
wastewater nutrient removal process 

VANCOUVER, BC--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 23, 2005) New process removes pollutants from liquid sewage and produces high-value environmentally-safe fertilizer

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. (Ostara) of Vancouver announced today that the City of Edmonton will be the first customer for its proprietary process that removes pollutants from liquid sewage and recycles them into environmentally-safe commercial fertilizer.

Phillip Abrary, president and CEO, said as many as 400 municipalities in North America and 500 in Europe are potential customers for the Ostara process.

"Our process reduces the amount of pollutants released into the environment, reduces operating costs at sewage treatment plants, helps treatment plants meet environmental regulations and provides municipalities with revenue from the sale of the recycled fertilizer," Abrary said.

The Edmonton project, approved by Edmonton City Council November 22nd, begins with a $150,000 pilot plant at the Gold Bar wastewater treatment plant that will remove phosphorus and nitrogen from liquid waste flowing at 50,000 litres per day. The pilot plant will begin operating in early 2006 and must demonstrate proof of concept, including removal and capture of 75 per cent of the phosphorus from the waste.

The pilot plant will then be dismantled and moved to a demonstration site in the United States. In Edmonton, a $1 million commercial plant will be built in 2006-2007 to treat 20 per cent of the plant's liquid waste stream. Eventually, five commercial reactors may be built to treat the plant's entire liquid waste stream. Approximately 1,000 tons of phosphorus will be removed from the waste stream and converted into Ostara-brand Crystal GreenTM fertilizer every year. Ostara and the City of Edmonton will share the fertilizer revenues.

K.C. Er, Director of Wastewater Treatment for the City of Edmonton, says that if the pilot plant is successful and results in a commercial scale system, "It will provide the City of Edmonton with an opportunity to significantly improve our wastewater treatment process, reduce ongoing operating costs, and reduce our environmental impact, while producing a sustainable fertilizer product."

Abrary said Ostara expects to sign deals similar to Edmonton with other Canadian, U.S. and European cities in early 2006.

The technology has advantages for all sewage treatment systems. Edmonton is an example - as are other Prairie cities, such as Calgary, Winnipeg, and Saskatoon - of a municipality facing increasingly stringent regulations for releasing treated effluent into rivers. Similar problems are confronting systems located on environmentally sensitive coastal areas, such as Chesapeake Bay, surrounded by the U.S. states of Maryland and Virginia and by Washington DC. In fact, most of the world's largest cities are located on rivers, coasts or lakes and face challenges that could be overcome with Ostara's technology.

Ostara's core technology was developed at the University of British Columbia (UBC) over a period of five years. Ostara licensed the technology from UBC in 2005, and under the terms of the licensing agreement, UBC has royalty and ownership rights in Ostara.

Ostara has signed a non-exclusive collaboration for the marketing of its wastewater technology with Stantec Inc., an Edmonton-based engineering consulting firm and a leader in providing wastewater solutions throughout North America.

Crystal GreenTM fertilizer has low production costs compared with fertilizers produced from mined phosphorus. It also requires minimal processing after recovery and is easy to store. In addition, Crystal GreenTM has significantly lower contaminant levels than other commercial fertilizers.

Crystal GreenTM will be marketed as a slow-release environmentally-friendly product to garden centres and nurseries serving urban gardeners and to large end-users such as parks and golf courses. Studies have shown that these target markets will pay a premium price for a fertilizer product with environmental benefits over other commercial fertilizers.

According to the 2005 UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, discharge of nutrients into the environment is one of the most significant environmental challenges facing the planet. Ostara's proprietary solution reduces the amount of phosphorus discharged by sewage treatment plants into waterways and also reduces the amount of fertilizer leached into the ground.

About Ostara:

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. is a Vancouver-based company developing and commercializing proprietary technologies that recover nutrients from liquid sewage and recycles them into environmentally-safe slow release fertilizer. Ostara's process reduces the amount of pollutants released into the environment, helps sewage treatment plants reduce operating costs and meet environmental regulations, and provides municipalities with revenue from the sale of the recycled fertilizer.