The Brazilian federal court lifted today, September 26th , the final embargo on Alunorte’s new bauxite residue disposal (DRS2) under a criminal lawsuit, allowing the alumina refinery to resume activities of installation and commissioning at DRS2 and ending a 19-month embargo period which has restricted activities at the plant.
“This is a milestone for Alunorte and will contribute to our agenda towards a more profitable and sustainable Hydro,” says Hydro President and CEO Hilde Merete Aasheim.
The decision by the federal court to lift the DRS2 embargo under the criminal lawsuit came after a decision on Friday, September 20, to lift the DRS2 embargo under the civil lawsuit.
“We are happy and eager to resume installation and commissioning activities at the state-of-art bauxite residue deposit DRS2, which is the only long-term solution for sustainable and robust operations at Alunorte. This is good news for our hard-working employees, for customers and for all local stakeholders who have contributed to this positive outcome,” says John Thuestad, EVP of the Bauxite & Alumina business area.
The embargoes have prevented Alunorte from following the originally planned transition from the old bauxite residue deposit area (DRS1) to the newest deposit area (DRS2), in combination with the press filter technology. The press filter is the most modern and sustainable technology, available in the world, for depositing bauxite residue.
The construction of DRS2 started in 2014. The press filters generate a residue with 78% solid content, which allows stacking by compaction, increasing the safety of DRS2 and significantly reducing the area needed for disposal.
Internal and external reviews, including inspections by authorities, confirmed that there was no overflow of Alunorte's bauxite residue deposits from the February 2018 rainfall.