Hydro’s Alunorte alumina refinery in the state of Pará in northern Brazil is the world’s largest alumina refinery outside China. The refinery is situated next to the Pará river in the region of Barcarena.
Swipe to see more of the Alunorte alumina refinery.
In February 2018 Barcarena suffered from flooding. There were no leaks or overflow from the bauxite residue deposits (confirmed by IBAMA and SEMAS). The areas flooded included Alunorte, and there were three incidents of rainwater being discharged from the refinery area.
A. Unlicensed discharge from Canal Velho
B. Flooded area and disused pipe
C. Coal storage shed
A. Discharge of rainwater through the water canal ‘Canal Velho’
Alunorte discharged partly untreated rainwater from the refinery area into the Pará river as an emergency measure to ensure that the water treatment plant would have sufficient capacity to process and treat all the water that had been in contact with the bauxite residue deposits.
B. Rainwater leaked through cracks in a sealed pipe at the refinery area
A disused construction pipe in a corner of the refinery area that should have been entirely sealed turned out to have thin cracks in its concrete cover. During the heavy rainfall, some water seeped through the cracks in the disused pipe to the other side of the refinery area fence.
C. Discharge of rainwater from the roof of the coal storage shed
There was an unlicensed connection between the coal storage shed of Alunorte and a licensed drainage canal from the Albras aluminium plant. Rainwater that fell on the coal storage shed area at Alunorte was not lead to the water treatment plant but flowed through this internal canal into the Pará river.
We aim to bring Alunorte up to a new environmental standard and are in the process of upgrading the plant:
i. Capacity of water basin increased by 350%
(to be completed by the end of 2018)
ii. Capacity of water treatment facility
increased by 50% (to be completed in the
second quarter 2019)
i. By the end of 2018, the capacity of the water basin will be increased by 350%
ii. The capacity of the water treatment facility will be increased by 50% in the second quarter of 2019