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Environmental Responsibility

Grupo SIMEC has made an ongoing commitment to environmental protection and every year we make significant investments to maintain all the equipment in operation at our production plants in good working order. All of our facilities meet the applicable environmental regulations.

Conservation of natural resources is of the greatest importance to the company, and as such we continually seek to raise awareness among our employees with regard to caring for the environment.

SIMEC is classed within the mining and metals sector, meaning the company is considered "high impact" in its environmental assessment. Given this evaluation, the environmental policy of SIMEC covers five key aspects.

1) Water consumption

Given the large quantities of water employed in steel manufacturing, SIMEC uses wastewater treatment systems for all its manufacturing processes as well as methods of recycling treated wastewater through water reuse, recycling or evaporation (employing residual heat), neutralization of acidic and alkaline effluent, sedimentation and flocculation of the thickeners, filtration of residual suspended solids, separation of oil and water, control of organic content with activated carbon treatment.

2) Atmospheric emissions

The following measures are taken to reduce atmospheric pollution and increase energy efficiency: utilization of special equipment to eliminate dry powder, separate gasses and recover valuable chemicals, as well as to remove toxic pollutants and collect gasses containing carbon monoxide and hydrogen, to be used as secondary fuels in the plant. The filtration system has a "Pulse Jet" type cleaning system which continually cleans the collecting equipment.

3) Residual water

SIMEC treats water with processes to eliminate pollutants present in human effluent. The aim of treating wastewater is to produce clean water (treated effluent) that can be returned into the environment or used in company operations. The purification of wastewater begins with an initial physical separation of large solids (trash) from the current of industrial wastewater by means of a system of gratings (wire mesh). Next, a grit removal process is used to get rid of small, dense solids such as grit, followed by a primary sedimentation, or similar treatment, which separates out the suspended solids remaining in the wastewater. To eliminate dissolved metals – principally lead and phosphorous – precipitation reactions are employed. Finally, dissolved biological material is converted into a solid mass and separated from the water. These biological solids undergo treatment and further neutralization before being discharged or appropriately reused.

4) Waste

As a steel producer, SIMEC generates large quantities of solid waste, such as blast furnace slag, which can be used in the production of certain kinds of cement, if granulated correctly. Basic slag, another form of solid waste, is used as a fertilizer, since it is a by-product of the use of ferrous minerals with a high phosphorous content. The solvents and acids used to clean the steel are potentially hazardous: the company handles, stores and disposes of them in a safe manner. We also take the necessary measures to collect, store and dispose of some of the recovered by-products considered hazardous or carcinogenic, and we monitor leaks of gasses and liquids.

5) Energy

Natural gas and electrical energy are two of the principal components of the production process at Grupo SIMEC. In order to reduce electricity consumption, SIMEC has modified both its production schedule and calendar, principally in order to reduce production times at foundries. SIMEC's policy is to continually monitor and maintain production plants, as well as investing in more efficient, low-consumption equipment and avoiding energy wastage. It also fosters a culture of energy-saving at all its plants, which includes involving all office personnel in projects such as "switch it off if you're not using it".

Recycling

As part of its environmentally-friendly industrial process, Grupo SIMEC manufactures new steels from recycled steel found in ferrous scrap as its main raw material, thereby considerably reducing the consumption of non-renewable energy and other raw materials that are the product of mining.

Installed capacity: 76% recycled material.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 May 2012 10:13