25 June 2012
Saline water pipeline from Neuhof to Philippsthal approved
Start signal for construction work
The Management Board of K+S KALI GmbH today welcomed the approvals to construct and operate the saline water pipeline from Neuhof to Philippsthal granted by the government presidium in Kassel.
“The approvals granted today give the start signal for the construction and operation of the pipeline. This is an important step for our Neuhof-Ellers potash site. This enables the previously necessary road and rail transports to be ended in the foreseeable future and to significantly reduce the associated negative impact on residents and the environment in the vicinity of the site”, says Dr. Ralf Diekmann, Member of the Management Board of K+S KALI GmbH.
In order to dispose, in particular, of the saline waste water resulting from rainfall on the Neuhof tailings pile, at present up to 90 road and rail transports daily are still necessary from the Neuhof-Ellers site to the Werra Verbund plant.
The work for construction of the 63 km long pipeline will already begin in a few days in the area of the municipalities of Hohenroda and Philippsthal and will probably last until spring 2013.
After the comprehensive examination by external specialists of all technically meaningful and ecologically feasible alternative means of disposal, K+S applied for the construction of a pipeline from Neuhof to Philippsthal in order to dispose of the saline waste water in a manner that maximally protects the environment. Specialist reports had demonstrated that the alternatives to the pipeline either did not represent a long-term solution, were not technically feasible or were associated with serious ecological disadvantages. This applies in particular to the road and rail transportation required for the temporary solution, which was to end as quickly as possible due to the construction of the pipeline.
During the construction of the pipeline, K+S is taking precautions to protect particularly sensitive parts of the landscape. For example, substitute biotopes and protective fences are being created for amphibians and insects.
During the approval process, the comprehensive planning documents were released in all municipalities along the rivers Werra and Weser up to the North Sea. A hearing for all objections and opinions occurred at the end of the previous year.
Further improvements in water quality
For more than ten years, great efforts have been made to achieve further biological improvements in the Werra / Weser water system. Compared to 2006 - prior to the start of the transportation - the annual total volume of saline waste water has been reduced by more than 2 million m3 to about 11 million m3 as a result of the adoption of technical measures. The officially approved thresholds will continue to be complied with consistently and offer good conditions for a further recovery of the river system.
K+S already took a great step forward with the start of construction last year for the implementation of further comprehensive measures on water protection. By the end of 2015, a further tangible contribution to improving the environment will have been achieved with investments of about € 360 million. The aim is to reduce saline waste water to 7 million m3 annually and end the previous practice of injection.
About K+S KALI GmbH
Within the K+S Group, K+S KALI GmbH is responsible for the potash and magnesium products sphere of operation. In six mines in Germany, the company mines salts containing potash, magnesium and sulphur and produced a wide range of high-quality products from them for the agricultural, industrial, healthcare and food sectors.