After IBAMA's decision, Alunorte will work with SEMAS, the State Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainability, to obtain authorization to use the filter press in DRS1. This filter generates stackable waste with considerably less water content than the drum filter. After receiving this authorization, Alunorte will be able to restart the operation with 50% of capacity.
“We are ready to start operating again and we appreciate all the support we have received from the authorities and society. We are making every effort to resume operation, while maintaining our dialogue with the authorities to resume full production, ”said John Thuestad, executive vice president of the Bauxite and Alumina business area at Hydro.
Thuestad added that the resumption of 50% of Alunorte's production will also allow the Paragominas bauxite mine and the primary aluminum plant Albras to continue operating at half capacity, instead of being completely shut down as a result of Alunorte's decommissioning. .
On February 16 and 17, the city of Barcarena, including the Alunorte alumina refinery, was hit by extreme rain, which continued for the following days. The rain caused flooding in the region.
Internal and external reviews confirm that there was no overflow of deposits of bauxite waste or harmful spills from the February rain event.
Since March 1, Alunorte has operated at 50% of its capacity, following orders from SEMAS and the judicial system. Consequently, the Paragominas bauxite mine and the Albras aluminum plant also reduced production by 50%.
Both Alunorte and Paragominas granted collective vacations to around 1,000 employees to preserve jobs and mitigate the impacts of reduced activity. In July, Paragominas temporarily suspended employment contracts for 80 employees and terminated 175 contractors.
On September 5, Alunorte signed two contracts representing a milestone to resume normal operations. The contracts include a technical term for Adjusted Conduct (TAC) signed between Alunorte - Alumina do Norte do Brasil SA, Norsk Hydro do Brasil Ltda, the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), the Public Ministry of the State of Pará (MPPA), the State Government. Pará, represented by the State Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainability (SEMAS). In addition, a social Term of Commitment (TC) was signed between Alunorte - Alumina do Norte do Brasil SA and the Government of the State of Pará. The TAC regulates certain technical improvements, audits, studies and payments of food cards for families that live in the hydrographic area of the Murucupi River, while the TC addresses additional efforts and investments related to the social development of the communities in Barcarena.