The Port of Aalborg is based on sustainable sewer pipes, Aalborg, Denmark

Special project setup ensures sustainable sewer pipes at Port of Aalborg

By challenging suppliers on delivery methods, trying new approaches and searching the market for sustainable materials such as Ultra Rib 2 Blue from Uponor, a 40% reduction in the project’s overall carbon footprint was achieved.

Project facts

Aalborg, Denmark
Sewer Municipal, Storm water
Completion: 2022

Focus on lowest product price does, however, remain a stumbling block for the green transition in the construction sector

The port area in Aalborg has recently been expanded by 20,000 square metres. But the process behind the expansion has not followed a conventional path for the construction industry, whether in terms of materials, consulting engineers or contractors.
Thanks to a partnering agreement and an aligned focus on finding the right solutions, Port of Aalborg and their business partners have achieved genuine success. By challenging suppliers on delivery methods, trying new approaches and searching the market for sustainable materials such as the Ultra Rib 2 Blue sewer pipe from Uponor, a 40% reduction in the project’s overall carbon footprint was achieved. That 40% comes from comparing this latest project to a reference project that did not seek out green solutions, but simply went ahead ‘as usual’.
Trust enabled better solutions
The expansion of the quay is one of two test projects selected by Port of Aalborg as part of its work in line with the ISO 14001 environmental management system, the aim being to test the partnering concept in practical application rather than a traditional turnkey or main contractor approach. In a partnering agreement, the parties enter into a business agreement early on in the process, and increased emphasis is placed on trust, knowledge sharing and the possibility of ongoing project development. This has given the parties better possibilities to seek rational solutions of higher quality and minimal CO2 emissions, rather than approaching the project on the basis of overall price.
“In traditional construction projects, as a main contractor we have to be quite specific on the choice of materials and solutions, so that the best prices can be offered in the bidding process. These prices then apply from that point on. By involving consulters and contractors early on in the process, decisions on the choice of methods and materials are made in cooperation. We reached a point of trust and a positive spirit in the collaboration quite early on, which paved the way for open ideas development and discussions on potential solutions. We’ve achieved far more sustainability in the project than any of us dared hope for,” says Brian Dalby Rasmussen, Head of Engineering, Port Facilities & Environmental Management at Port of Aalborg.
COWI, consulting engineer on the quay extension, and Project Manager Casper Holmgaard Jensen is equally enthusiastic about the project form and the results.
“Sustainability and green transition are now everywhere in Danish business, but not every company can “walk the talk” and live up to their own ambitions. But Port of Aalborg has certainly done so in this project. If it hadn’t been for the partnering agreement, it’s unlikely we would have come up with the solutions and products that we did,” says Casper Holmgaard Jensen.
Wholesalers didn’t believe the buyers
This alternative project approach has, however, highlighted one of the biggest challenges facing the Danish construction industry if it is to succeed with a green transition: the sector’s dogged focus on the lowest price when buying materials. The buyers at Per Aarsleff, a contractor and the final member of the partnering group, have certainly experienced this.
“Individual wholesalers did offer us green alternatives, but the vast majority automatically offered us the cheapest solutions, even though we clearly stated that we wanted sustainable products. They simply didn’t believe that price was not the most important factor, like it usually is,” says Ludvig V Pullich, General Manager at Per Aarsleff.
“At Uponor, we want to help reduce a construction project’s carbon footprint, while also contributing to more sustainable development in the construction industry. But this also means that contractors and wholesalers discover and are willing to see the potential of alternative new products, and that they’re ready to focus on factors other than price alone. The project in Aalborg is a great example of how an industry can make proactive choices and take the next steps in the green transition,” says Jan Lunding, Project Manager at Uponor.  
About Uponor Ultra Rib 2 Blue
  • Ultra Rib 2 Blue is a PP plastic sewer pipe that reduces the carbon footprint by up to 70%. The pipe is made of renewable raw materials based on the mass balance model, with the same quality and performance as the conventional Ultra Rib 2.
  • Ultra Rib 2 Blue meets the dual requirements of Nordic Poly Mark with an expected service life of more than 100 years.
  • Ultra Rib 2 Blue is produced at the ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) Plus factory in Fristad, Sweden, which uses green electricity in production facilities.
  • Customers receive a declaration showing how much fossil-free material the delivery contains.
  • Ultra Rib 2 Blue is supplied in lengths of 3 and 6 metres, in diameters of 200 to 560 mm.

Port of Aalborg gallery

Ultra Rib 2 Blue Port of Aalborg 1

Project information

Project information

Building Type

Similar projects

Weholite yields savings and smoother implementation

Weholite yields savings and smoother implementation

New dry land fish farm which will produce 3,200 tonnes of rainbow trout annually is being build in Eckerö in the Åland Islands. Uponor Infra has provided design assistance and delivers the pipes and is responsible for their installation and welding.

Record-breaking intake cooling system in the Philippines

Record-breaking intake cooling system in the Philippines

New challenges are where the Project Services Department at Uponor Infra feels most comfortable and can demonstrate its
continuously developing expertise. The aim on this occasion was to provide a seawater intake cooling system – a pipeline, intake structure and chlorination line – for the 420MW extension of the Pagbilao Coal Fired Power Plant on Luzon Island in the Philippines.
Sustainable  solution for  a pulp & paper mill

Sustainable solution for a pulp & paper mill

Weholite’s ability to withstand external wear, such as friction against the seabed, was an important criterion when the outfall pipe of Stora Enso’s pulp and paper mill in Nymölla, southern Sweden, had to be replaced.



A raw water system for the new power unit

A raw water system for the new power unit

To ensure failure-free operation of a raw water system, a polyethylene-made pipeline (PEHD) with a length of approximately 9 km was installed (in mining damage conditions), of which 3 km uses the trenchless technique – relining.
Stora Enso Nymölla mill biogas facility

Stora Enso Nymölla mill biogas facility

Stora Enso Nymölla Mill in southern Sweden produces pulp- and wood-free uncoated paper and is the second largest paper manufacturing company in Europe. Nymölla Mill belongs to the "Paper" division and has an annual capacity of 340,000 tonnes of pulp and 485,000 tonnes of paper. The mill started in 1962 and has 540 employees. The paper manufactured by Nymölla Mill is recyclable, renewable and biodegradable. Approximately 90% of Nymölla Bruk's paper brands have eco-label certification that certifies the products' reduced environmental impact during the product's life cycle. Paper products from Stora Enso are available all over the world.
Record-breaking pipes in Keljonlahti

Record-breaking pipes in Keljonlahti

Construction of the pipe network for cooling water at the Keljonlahti power plant began in December 2008. 3,000/3,300 mm Weholite pipes were selected for the network. The combined length of the entire intake and discharge pipe network for cooling water is 1,714 metres.
Extension of the district cooling station seawater intake in Helsingborg, Sweden

Extension of the district cooling station seawater intake in Helsingborg, Sweden

 The district cooling system in Helsingborg involves the streamlining of current production. By means of seawater and using heat from the district heating network to power an absorption cooling unit, district cooling provides much better environmental values than electric cooling units. The district cooling station is an efficient source of cooling for buildings, industrial facilities and shopping centres.


Fish farming with the smallest possible footprint

Fish farming with the smallest possible footprint

Andfjord Salmon AS, a Norwegian fish farming company, has the ambition to create a sustainable, environmentally and fish-friendly onshore facility – with the smallest possible footprint. This patented facility combines the best from both traditional ocean net-pens and land-based salmon farming. The intake and outfall lines are built with highly durable Weholite PE pipes and panels with a 100-year life span.