Meeting the highest environmental standards
Qatar’s environmental authorities stipulated a number of conditions when the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Qatalum project was approved. Primary aluminium production was a new industry in Qatar, and handling the environmental issues for the project meant breaking new ground and establishing new standards.
In cooperation with the Supreme Council for the Environment & Natural Reserves (SCENR), the regulatory authority responsible for environmental protection, Qatalum made the entire Environmental and Social Impact Assessment available to the general public, both, via public hearings and the web, as the first aluminium project in Qatar.
The Qatalum project set new standards also when it came to environmental performance.
On Waste Management, an objective for Qatalum was to avoid landfilling and instead explored, together with industries in the Gulf area, how to utilize what was regarded earlier as waste as an alternative fuel and raw material. Seminars with the industry are planned in the near future establishing a forum for exchange of information and also for testing optimization of the materials to be delivered. The aluminium production will meet the highest environmental standards with low emissions of fluorides, an important yardstick for aluminium smelters. Qatalum was the first smelter in the Gulf with wet scrubbers for sulfur dioxide abatement. The captive power plant meets the highest standards regarding NOX and the technology selection further reduces CO2 emissions.
The project also brought in an independent biodiversity expert who supported the project as well as had a dialogue with SCENR on a range of related issues providing information and advice.
Several seminars were held as part of the work to follow up these conditions and outlined in further detail the health and external environment specifications set for Qatalum.
Together with professional Authority oversight and the competent Project Team, during the construction phase, Qatalum’s contractors reported on a monthly basis regarding emissions, waste disposal, and other safety and environmental parameters. The Qatalum Project Team then condenses this information into quarterly reports, which were submitted to the local and national authorities (MIC and SCENR).
Transparent and open dialogue
On health, safety and environment issues Qatalum demonstrated a strong sense of responsibility and openness towards its employees, customers and the communities where it operate.
“Qatalum aims to be among the best when it comes to transparency, as well as environmental and safety standards," stated Truls Gautesen, then General Manager of Qatalum.