21 November 2014

25th Meeting of the Round Table

Presentation of the Four-Phase Plan – The feasible complete solution to saline wastewater disposal

Hesse’s Environmental Minister Priska Hinz and Norbert Steiner, Chairman of the K+S Board of Executive Directors, together explained the advantages of the Four-Phase Plan for a permanent solution to the saline wastewater problem at today’s meeting of the Round Table on “Werra/Weser water protection and potash production.”

“The Four-Phase Plan aims at achieving a feasible solution to saline wastewater disposal in the Werra potash district,” said Norbert Steiner. “This jointly reached compromise deserves to be put into practice.” Those making detailed or general criticisms should bear in mind what progress is being made in terms of water quality and securing jobs. The condition of the water in the Werra and the Weser will continue to improve as a result of the action plan. In the long term, the Werra and the Upper Weser will even regain freshwater quality. Among other things, the plan provides for the construction of a long-distance pipeline to the Upper Weser. This would become operational in 2021. Addressing the concern of some critics that the water quality in the Weser would suffer as a result of the pipeline, Steiner remarked: “There will be no deterioration in the Weser.”

Aside from further relief to the environment, the agreement would contribute to securing the K+S sites in the Werra potash district. The Four-Phase Plan would apply until after production is discontinued and would secure the more than 7,000 jobs associated with potash production in the region. “This gives us a planning framework which we as a commodities company need, in order to be able to mine potash crude salt at the Werra for several more decades and thus manufacture in Germany products that are in global demand,” commented Steiner.

K+S would therefore be prepared to make a further enormous financial effort. The Company would additionally invest approximately € 400 million in the measures agreed on. With the inclusion of the obligations as part of the package of measures started in 2011, K+S’ capital expenditure in water protection at the Werra would thus total approximately € 800 million euros. This would constitute a clear commitment to the German production sites.

“With the Four-Phase Plan, the Hesse state government and K+S have jointly created the basis for addressing the disposal issues of the potash sites at the Werra once and for all,” said Steiner at the meeting. “The Plan is an acceptable compromise uniting social, economic and ecological interests.”

About K+S

K+S is an international resources company. We have been mining and processing mineral raw materials for 125 years. The products we produce from them are used worldwide in agriculture, food and road safety and are important elements in numerous industrial processes. The nutrients potash and salt are accompanying the megatrend for the future: A constantly growing global population is becoming increasingly prosperous and striving for a more modern standard of living, which results in an increasing consumption of mineral raw materials. We serve the resulting growth in demand from production sites in Europe, North America and South America as well as through a global distribution network. K+S is the world’s largest salt producer and one of the top potash providers worldwide. With more than 14,000 employees, K+S achieved revenues in financial year 2013 of about € 4 billion and an EBIT of € 656 million. K+S is the commodities stock on the German DAX index. Learn more about K+S at www.k-plus-s.com.

Michael Wudonig


Phone: +49 561 9301 1262

Michael Wudonig

Bertha-von-Suttner Str. 7
34131 Kassel

Phone: +49 561 9301 1262
Fax: +49 561 9301 1666

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