Free Trade Zone in Maldonado: extension of call for "bad odors" from OSE plant

OSE and the “urgent” solution for the fetid odors that threaten the free zone project in Maldonado

This is because an interested company had requested more information, after verifying on several visits fetid odors in the area near the tendered property, which is adjacent to the OSE wastewater treatment plant.

The potential investor had indicated that the presence of “bad smells” was “highly worrisome” for the commercial feasibility of the venture.

Problem and proposed solution

In June, OSE submitted a report to the Maldonado Municipality detailing the planned rehabilitation plan to resolve the unacceptable current scenario “quickly, efficiently and lastingly”.

This plan, according to the state company, pays “special attention” to the preventive and corrective control of processes that during the treatments “could cause the emission of offensive odors and/or negative impacts from the environmental point of view”.

It also includes air quality control actions to establish an objective air quality control and communication protocol in the plant and its surroundings, says the document to which you accessed The Observer.

OSE’s treatment plant -the largest and most modern in the country-, It is operational since 2013, and serves the entire sanitary sewer system of Maldonado and Punta del Este. A decade later, its location is very close to the Convention Center and other residential and commercial developments that have been planned in the area.


The OSE report states that After 12 years of continuous operation, the plant has achieved its objectives “sufficiently”, although “malfunctions” have been notedmainly associated with the operation of some electromechanical equipment and process units (treatment and dehydration of sludge and gases), which cause undesirable emissions of offensive gases into the atmosphere.

According to SBI, The greatest difficulty is concentrated in the treatment process of the sludge from the physical-chemical treatment, the main source of the generation of “offenses to the senses”, says the chapter that exposes an extensive technical explanation of the state of the situation.

Lack of investments

The report also says that the current result is a consequence of “The lack of key investments for optimal essential maintenance” and, “consequently, for an effective operation that efficiently meets the objectives for which it was selected.”

How much money is needed?

The “immediate and urgent implementation” plan (will run on 9 months without including the terms destined to the processing of purchases, acquisitions and delivery by suppliers) will require a total investment of approximately US$ 7.5 million.

The work will be partially included in the OSE investment plan for 2023, and another part in the 2024 plan, says the letter signed by the general manager of the company Arturo Castagnino and addressed to the mayor Enrique Antía. As explained, processes will be updated and modernized “according to the best international practices”.

OSE and the "urgent" solution for the fetid odors that threaten the free zone project in Maldonado


The third free zone of Maldonado

The property owned by the Municipality of Maldonado, is made up of two padrones and has 42 hectares. The projected free zone must have an industry profile and innovative and technological services.

The specifications state that the base price of the property of one of the registers will be US$ 4.1 million and for the right of the purchase option of the other, the amount will be equivalent to 1% of the price offered, with a minimum base of $3.3 million.

The winner of the tender agrees to pay 40% of the amount resulting from the winning bid with the signing of the deed of sale, and the remaining 60% will be paid in three annual, equal and consecutive installments, from the signing of the deed of sale.

The specifications indicate that the amount of investment in infrastructure to be provided by the developer must exceed US$15 million.

Within the investment requirements, one of the points refers to the maximum generation of employment. The conditions express that the offer that projects the maximum generation of direct and permanent employment throughout the free zone will be considered for the maximum score and as a point of reference.

Two other free zones are currently approved in the department: an audiovisual one that will work in the Buenos Aires spa area and another for services at WTC Punta del Este.

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