Brazilian Steelmaker ThyssenKrupp CSA Having Problems With Environmental License
Steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG and miner Vale SA’s joint operation in Brazil, ThyssenKrupp CSA, is having problems receiving their license from environmental authorities. Located in Rio de Janeiro, the 5 million metric tons a year steel slabs maker is only allowed to operate at 80% capacity (or 3 million tons a year of slabs) on a provisional basis as “state-level environmental authorities didn't approve the results of a works audit,” company sustainability director Luiz Claudio Castro said in a Dow Jones Newswires article.
The current license is set to expire next September, and the company needs an independent audit approved before an operational permit will be issued to them. The problem started last year after two cases of atmospheric pollution were released after the mill started up. The company was fined and constrained by a “temporary embargo on construction of its coke oven last year following the dust leaks,” according to the article.
Now, the mill is supervised 24 hours a day with no harmful emissions released. However, the problem is political as well as fishermen claim their livelihood was affected by the company. There are environmental groups that are now protesting the state giving the steelmaker a license reasoning the company is hurting the local community. An audit was partially rejected in June, but a new audit should be done in September.
Even though CSA “complies with 95% of the 58 terms it needs to conform to gain its operating license…The big controversy is over the hot metal pit, even though this is a standard feature at steelworks," Castro said.
The pit could release emissions; thus CSA is spending millions on emissions reduction and hoping to ramp up production to 5 million tons a year by late 2012. Currently, 60% of slabs are being sold to the Alabama-based ThyssenKrupp mill while 40% is going to the company’s Duisburg plant in Germany for further processing.
Source: Dow Jones Newswires