KCF Facility Commissioned on Schedule

With the commissioning of the kainite crystallization and flotation facility (KCF) at the Hattorf site (Philippsthal, Hersfeld-Rotenburg district), a further milestone in protecting the Werra waters was achieved by K+S. The facility will enable additional reusable resources to be obtained from saline solutions that could not be used until now and will simultaneously reduce the wastewater volume at the Werra plant by 1.5 million cubic meters, or about 20 per cent, annually. With the related volume of capital expenditure at 180 million euros, the KCF facility is the largest individual water protection project to date.

Priska Hinz (Hesse Environment Minister, 2nd left), Bodo Ramelow (Prime Minister of Thüringia, 2nd right), Dr. Burkhard Lohr (CEO of K+S, center), Dr. Rainer Gerling (Managing Director of K+S KALI GmbH, 1st left) and Christoph Wehner (site manager, 1st right) pressed the symbolic button for commissioning of the new KCF facility on January 17th.


“With our new KCF facility, we are creating a further important condition for the future viability of thousands of jobs in the Hesse-Thuringia potash district,” said Dr. Burkhard Lohr, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, speaking on the occasion of the commissioning of the facility. “The fact that we have invested almost half a billion euros in new facilities to reduce wastewater at the Werra site within a few years shows that we treat sustainable production seriously,” Lohr went on to say.


KCF facility overview

Development to the point at which the technical process employed at the facility could be put into practice was the result of many years of development work at the K+S Group’s Analysis and Research Center (Unterbreizbach, Wartburg district) and at the Werra plant. The process allows for additional reusable resources to be obtained from saline solutions that could not be used in the past and which had to be disposed of. It will be possible to produce about 260,000 tonnes of saleable products (potassium chloride, magnesium sulfate) from them, with the result that a further improvement will also be achieved with respect to the exploitation of raw materials. At the same time, the volume of wastewater at the Werra plant will be reduced by 1.5 million to 5.5 million cubic meters (2007: 14 million cubic meters). The construction of the processing facility, which involved the integration of a new building into the plant structure at the Hattorf site, took a total of 24 months.


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