09 February 2010 19:45 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--German fertilizer major K+S disagrees with a high-profile expert report on how the company should handle saline waste water discharges from its potash mines in central Germany, it said on Tuesday.
The expert group – known as Roundtable Werra – recommended in its report on Tuesday that K+S cease by 2020 - at the latest - its practises of discharging wastes into the ?xml:namespace>
Instead, the company should build a pipeline from the potash production district in the central German states of Hessen and Thuringia to the
K+S, in its response, said the experts did not consider if such a pipeline project would make business sense for the company, nor did they look at how it could be financed.
According to analysts, the 450km pipeline could cost some €500m ($685m) and may only be justified if potash prices rise and stay at high levels.
Importantly, the roundtable’s recommendation did not take into account that
The pipeline would be routed through Lower Saxony and the waste water would be disposed off that state’s long
As the same time, Kassel-based K+S stressed that the demand to cease underground injections and to end the discharges into the
“Anyone who demands the complete cessation of injection in the short term and discharge into the Werra starting from 2020 at the latest, is putting at risk the continued existence of an industry which bears great social responsibility for several thousand employees and which in the past already made considerable efforts to achieve significant improvements for the environment and will implement more”, said Ludger Waldmann, who represented K+S on the roundtable
The company pointed to its €360m investment, announced in 2008, to halve discharges into the
After 2015, K+S said it plans to address the discharges through what it called a “New Integrated Saline Waste Water Management System”. That concept would involve ending the current injection of waste water, bringing about medium-term and long-term improvements for affected river systems, it said.
Furthermore, that concept would ease the environmental burden below ground through the recovery of saline solutions, it said.
($1 = €0.73)
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