November 7, 2014 at 9 am EET
International Chromium Development Association (ICDA) awarded Outokumpu’s Tornio operations in Finland on long-term successful work in waste water treatment and protection of sea environment on November 5, 2014. The award is based on voting of ICDA council and committees.
Says CEO Mika Seitovirta: “We are extremely pleased with ICDA’s recognition. Over the years, our dedication to environmental matters has yielded results. Annual studies carried out by external experts have shown that impacts on sea areas close to production plant have diminished during the last ten years and that associated marine ecosystems are in good health. Sustainability plays a central role in Outokumpu’s business operations: it is a key driver for the company’s long-term competitiveness and growth.”
Outokumpu Tornio site is located on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia, close to nature reserves. Waste water discharges have been kept on low level over ten years despite of increased production of ferrochrome and stainless steel. In 2011 new larger sedimentation pool was taken into use through which all effluents are discharged into the sea. Effluents from the site stay in the basin for several months thus allowing solids in the water to settle down to the bottom of the basin and therefore they are not discharged into the sea. Nitrogen amounts are also reduced significantly.
Since 1970s Outokumpu has carried out many studies that monitor the conditions of the environment. The latest research report about the impact of waste waters on recipient water at the Tornio site showed that the impacts are restricted to the immediate proximity of the plant. The quality of the sea water was good, and metal concentrations were below the drinking water limits at all sampling points during the whole year.
The monitoring of bottom fauna, the levels of metal in fishes and water quality showed that fish populations were healthy and that the levels of metals were very low and similar to the non-loaded reference sea area. Even very sensitive species, such as amphipod (Monoporeia affinis), were found from the bottom fauna in the vicinity of the plant.
ICDA is an international non-profit association that promotes the value and sustainability of chromium and represents the chromium industry worldwide. The association has members from 26 countries across five continents and it is the authoritative voice of the industry, dealing with chromium in all its forms.
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Outokumpu is a global leader in stainless steel. We create advanced materials that are efficient, long lasting and recyclable – thus building a world that lasts forever. Stainless steel, invented a century ago, is an ideal material to create lasting solutions in demanding applications from cutlery to bridges, energy and medical equipment: it is 100% recyclable, corrosion-resistant, maintenance-free, durable and hygienic. Outokumpu employs more than 12 000 professionals in more than 30 countries, with headquarters in Espoo, Finland and shares listed in the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. www.outokumpu.com