Norsk Hydro is complying to production cuts in Brazil
A court in Brazil has imposed Norsk Hydro’s alumina refinery Alunorte production cuts of 50 per cent following accusations of contaminating the drinking water. the company state that they have complied too the requirement.
– We comply too the order and on Thursday met the requirement to reduce production by 50 per cent. We continue the dialogue with environmental authorities in Brazil to clarify what is needed to get back to full production, says Communications Director in Hydro, Halvor Molland to NTB.
Norsk Hydro is South America’s largest aluminum company after purchasing the Brazilian mining company Vales Aluminum Company in the north of Pará in 2011. Alunorte is the world’s largest alumina refinery.
– The time frame of the order is unclear and it affects both our employees and our production. Our employees continue to work as per usual, and reducing production in a safe manner is by itself a demanding added task, he says.
No signs of discharge says Hydro
Last week, the Ministry of Health reported that high levels of lead, sodium and other harmful substances have been recorded and that drinking water up to 2 kilometers away is affected, according to the Rio Times newspaper.
Norsk Hydro tells NTB that the aluminum giant has not detected any signs of discharge from Alunorte. The order from the court comes because Hydro has not complied with requirements for pools that collect waste water, according to Molland.
– A requirement from the environmental authorities is that the waste water pools that collect water and liquid should be 1 meter below the top of the pool. After heavy precipitation, the distance has become too little and because we did not reach the 1 meter requirement by the deadline of February 26, we were issued this order, he says.
The company will now review results stemming from both external and internal inspections.
– The environmental authorities have performed measurements in nearby areas, and we will now review those reports, says Molland.
Norsk Hydro is currently providing drinking water to the local population in the municipality of Barcarena in co-operation with Brazilian authorities. The company has previously stressed to Norway Today that several of the pollutants that has been detected are not part of their production process, and that there are several other industries located in the nearby area.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today