The environmental agency in the Brazilian state of Pará, Semas, has attested that Hydro Alunorte can safely resume normal operations and has on this basis lifted the production embargo.
“Semas’ decision is an important recognition that Alunorte’s operations are safe. We will continue the dialogue with the authorities pursuing full resumption of production,” says John Thuestad, executive vice-president of Hydro’s Bauxite and Alumina division. A study carried out by the Federal University of Campina Grande (UFCG), recognized as a specialist in the field of chemical engineering in Brazil, also concludes that Alunorte, from the viewpoint of water management, can safely produce at full capacity. The lifting of the production embargo from Semas does not allow for immediate resumption of full operation at Alunorte, as the embargo of the Federal Court remains in force. Alunorte will inform the court about Semas decision.
Alunorte has been running at 50% production since March 2018, following embargos from Brazilian authorities. In mid-February 2018, the city of Barcarena, including the Alunorte alumina refinery, was hit by an extreme rainfall, which caused flooding in the region. Internal and external reviews confirm that there was no overflow from the bauxite residue deposits or harmful spills from the February rain event.