Norsk Hydro sends their CFO to take over in Brazil
Eivind Kallevik is appointed as CEO of scandal struck Alunorte on a temporary basis. The company is owned by Norsk Hydro. This is reported by E24.
Norsk Hydro announced the appointment of Kallevik as Chief Executive Officer in Alunorte on Monday.
The Norsk Hydro owned alumina refinery Alunorte in Brazil has been in the news lately – after a regional court ordered the plant to cut production by 50 per cent and halt operations at the associated red sludge landfill due to fear of pollution.
The parent group in Norway now takes steps – the Group’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Eivind Kallevig, is appointed as CEO of the subsidiary in Brazil – on an interim basis.
He replaces Silvio Porto in light of the “challenging situation”, Norsk Hydro states in Monday’s press release.
Porto will now work on helping local people with the clean up operation and health measures. Norsk Hydro further writes that they will engage an international environmental consultancy agency to provide an independent review of the situation.
Kallevik will continue as CFO for the conglomerate in parallel with the assignment in Brazil.
The factory in Brazil is now operating at 50 per cent, following an order from the prosecutor in the state of Pará.
The background is “worries that heavy rainfall has led to leaks from Alunorte to the nearby river and that this has led to pollution of the water,” Norsk Hydro states.
The Brazilian Minister for the Environment, José Sarney Filho, has urged for the shutdown of all Alunorte operations.
The injunction on closure of Alunorte’s red-sludge landfill was issued by the federal Brazilian Environmental Directorate.
Fines looms over Norsk Hydro
DN wrote before the weekend that CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg personally hasted on a plane to obtain an overview of the situation – after the company was threatened with fines in the millions.
Norsk Hydro has already been fined NOK 50 million – but may receive additional daily fines, until the present problem is resolved.
Environmental authorities in Pará have also demanded that Hydro cease operation at one of the two landfills at the Paragominas bauxite mine. That is located about 250 kilometres west of Alunorte.
Alunorte is the world’s largest alumina refinery, with around 2,000 employees and a capacity of 6.3 million metric ton a year. Norsk Hydro owns 92 per cent of the business.