K+S to invest €360m to lower German river pollution

28 October 2008 17:54  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--K+S plans to invest €360m ($450m) through 2015 to cut saltwater discharges from its potash operations into the Werra and Weser rivers by half, the Germany-based fertilizer major said on Tuesday.


The company was confident that with the investment authorities in the states of Hessen and Thuringa would approve the continued, long-term operation of its potash businesses, it said.


K+S’ move came as regional authorities and residents were pressing the company to do more to ensure an environmentally sustainable disposal of brine from its potash production sites.


“We have prepared a package of measures and investments that balances economic, ecological and social interests,” said CEO Norbert Steiner.


The Kassel-based company was committed to sustainable improvements of water quality in the Werra and Weser, he said.


As a result of K+S’ investments, the rivers’ water quality would start to improve gradually from 2011 and by 2015 discharges would be halved to 7m cubic metres/year.


K+S’ longer-term plans to address the situation included a possible pipeline to transport brine from the potash mines to the North Sea, Steiner added.


($1 = €0.80)


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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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