Norwegian Sludge and Fertiliser Regulation Revision: A post-Brexit Model?

Tornes, O.1 and Whipps, A. 2, 1 IVAR IKS, Norway 2 Pell Frischmann, UK



IVAR IKS is the organisation responsible for the provision of drinking water and wastewater treatment
in the Stavanger region of Norway plus responsibility for the management and treatment of solid waste
in the region.

Biosolids generated by wastewater treatment works, food waste and organic wastes from trade and
industry are utilised for the production of biogas and organic fertilisers: this forms the basic biogas value
chain. The main objective in selecting future treatment solutions is to identify synergies which lead to
the greatest energy and resource recovery potential, whilst at the same time, the social costs are
minimised or at least optimised. In the longer term, IVAR’s customers will in that way benefit from
reduced charges.

The recently upgraded Regional Water Treatment Plant (RWTP) at Mekjarvik (Stavanger) is based on
an overall evaluation comprising space, energy consumption, nutrient recovery, biogas production,
quantity and quality of the final biosolid-organic fertiliser, MINORGA®.

In a similar way the new biogas plant at Grødaland is designed to utilise Norway’ s largest potential
biogas generating facility from agriculture, fish farming, trade and industry in the southern part of the

Experiences at the RWTP have shown that the biosolid based organic fertiliser (MINORGA®) has the
potential to provide an important alternative to conventional mineral fertilisers as well as meeting future
demands for agricultural recycling of biosolids. After extensive liaison with authorities/regulators IVAR
and the HØST fertiliser company has finally managed to influence and achieve inclusion of IVAR’s
requirements in the new sludge regulations that are currently under revision. The new sludge
regulations are moving towards an exemption to the restrictions on use for a biosolid product which in
shape, composition and use are comparable to mineral fertilisers. Also the new sludge regulations are
not connected to any EU legislation, representing a refreshing independent approach. This is a
significant development which will enable IVAR IKS not only to develop local and regional biosolids
outlets but support the export of MINORGA® to other countries (e.g. Vietnam).

The paper provides an overview of the background and status of the draft revision of new sludge and
fertiliser regulations in Norway. The paper poses the question if this approach provides potential for a
post-BREXIT model for the UK.

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