• Monday, May 27, 2024
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We operate world class environment standards – Indorama Nigeria

We operate world class environment standards – Indorama Nigeria

Indorama Nigeria which runs Nigeria’s firsts and foremost petrochemicals plant as well as two trains of fertilizer plants says it rather operates world class environmental standards.

Further, Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals and Fertilizer Company Limited (IEPFL) said it is fully committed to the goal of zero harm, safe and healthy environment by implementing effective environment management system as an integral part of its operations.

Briefing newsmen in its facility in Eleme near Port Harcourt on Friday, April 19, 2024, the company which acquired the former Eleme Petrochemicals from the FG said it carries out periodic monitoring (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly as defined) of Noise, Ambient Air Quality, Stack emissions, Treated effluent quality, Groundwater quality, Recipient water body (Okulu River) water quality and Biodiversity etc. by in-house team and accredited consultant. This is said to be benchmarked against national limits and International Finance Corporation /World Bank standards.

The company said they keep their standards for emissions better than Federal Ministry of Environment as the IFC/WB norms were more stringent and that they as responsible corporate citizen wants to ensure minimum emissions. With that object, they said they select the best technology and equipment to minimize emissions and make their plants future-proof.

The Corporate Affairs head of Indorama Nigeria, Jossy Nkwocha (PhD) said the effort involves quarterly submission of reliable data in form of Environment Compliance Report to Federal Ministry of Environment (FMEnv), Rivers State Ministry of Environment (RSMEnv), National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

They also, according to him, conduct internal and external audit including regulatory visits and audits, and periodic renewal of environmental permits/authorizations from relevant regulatory authorities. They also conduct environmental awareness programmes to enhance awareness among employees, contractor workforce, and other stakeholders.

Indorama spoke out in the heat of calls by a group in Alesa Eleme for the shutdown of the company or for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to recall its loans or stop further loans to Indorama Nigeria. The group claimed that Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals and Fertilizer Company was dumping toxic water into its river.

Reacting, Indorama took almost all media houses on a facility tour or their operations from the Olefin plant to the ammonia and urea plants plus the water systems and effluent sections to show that there could have been no toxic water or gas to discharge anywhere.

Saying Indorama’s operations were not polluting the environment, Nkwocha regretted that a group of persons that had sought in vain to be given host-community status have resorted to accusations of polluting their river. He gave the name of the group as “Alliance for the Defence of Eleme” who he said circulated a write-up to some media houses, supposedly sent to some international funding agencies.

Nkwocha said Indorama Nigeria was reacting as a responsible corporate organisation, and thus would not want to make comments on a matter in Court but that since the above-mentioned group of persons had already put this matter in the public space through the media, they just wished to publicly reassure their financial partners, government agencies, host communities, and other stakeholders that their operations were environment-friendly and have been operated under national and international standards.

“While it is true that the court had issued an ex-parte order, which order has since expired by effluxion of time, that order only required Indorama to ensure that its operations do not lead to the pollution of the environment pending determination of the motion on notice. On 17th April,2024 when the matter came up, the court ordered parties to file pleadings and made no reference to any order, because as of the moment, there is no subsisting order whatsoever against Indorama.”

Indorama said it chose to painstakingly show the media corps in Port Harcourt through detailed media tour and presentations on environment practices in the company to prove the high standards of environment compliance Indorama operated.

And that Indorama, being a responsible corporate citizen, is committed to the goal of zero harm, safe and healthy environment by implementing effective environment management system as an integral part of her operations.

Nkwocha went further: “To achieve our commitment, we have implemented a robust Environment Management and Monitoring System, and the environmental performance is acknowledged by Regulators and Lenders. We are putting efforts into continual improvement of our environmental systems and performance.

Key highlights of Indorama’s environment management system included: “Compliance with all applicable national and state environmental regulations and adherence to good international best practices; Environmental performance is the major criteria considered for plant technology selection for new development. The environmental criteria considered are low energy per ton of production, low water consumption and minimum effluent generation, low noise from plant operation, minimal purge, and emissions. Extensive environmental and risk assessment studies and incorporation of recommendations in plant design and operational monitoring.”

The company said before embarking on a new project, Detailed Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Study (DESIAS) as per the Federal Ministry of Environment guidelines, which is inclusive and covers study of environmental and social components including stakeholder engagement under supervision of Federal Ministry of Environment and Rivers State Ministry of Environment is done.

He said the study conducted by FMEnv accredited consultant is submitted to the Ministry which undergoes public disclosure for 21 working days for public review and comments before panel review and subsequent approval from Ministry.

He also said there is periodic preventive maintenance of pollution abatement and pollution control infrastructures to ensure optimal functionality.

Indorama group also conducts regulatory mandated environment audit and environmental evaluation study under supervision of relevant regulatory agency reps and submit to relevant authorities for review and approval as per defined frequency.

Nkwocha stated: “Based on the facility tour and the detailed presentation of how Indorama is committed to the goal of zero harm, safe and healthy environment by implementing effective environment management system as an integral part of her operations, it is mischievous and misleading for anyone to circulate such a mendacious write-up to the general public through the Mass Media, and supposedly to our financial partners.”