Skip to content

Hydro forms expert task force to review Barcarena situation

Norwegian aluminium company Norsk Hydro ASA has established an expert task force to lead a comprehensive review at Hydro’s Alunorte alumina refinery in northern Brazil, following recent heavy rainfall and flooding in the region of Barcarena, in the state of Pará.

The task force aims to establish and verify the facts and circumstances related to the rainfall on February 16-17. It will have the following main objectives:

  1. To establish the effects of the rainfall on the operational integrity of the bauxite residue deposits, including the ability to treat and dispose of excess water
  2. Analyze and evaluate internal and external data and information related to possible environmental impact in the local communities
  3. Propose improvement of systems, processes and/or organization supporting short and longer-term operational perspective

The task force will be headed by Hydro’s senior executive Tom Røtjer and managed by senior HSE manager Jan Arild Berget. It will report directly to CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.

“Our commitment to safe and sound operations is universal and absolute. We intend to evaluate all aspects of our operations in Alunorte in an open and transparent manner, in close dialogue with relevant authorities,” says CEO Brandtzæg. 

After the recent rainfall, surveillance authorities inspected Alunorte and surrounding areas, following reports of possible leakage and water contamination. No proof of leakage from the bauxite residue deposits at Alunorte has been found. 

“As always, our operations shall comply with all relevant rules and regulations, as well as with Hydro’s high ethical standards and with respect to people and the communities we are a part of,” Brandtzæg says.

Hydro will continue to cooperate with all relevant authorities in an open and transparent manner to help facilitate further work and inspections.

To help local communities affected by the flooding, Hydro contributes, together with the municipal and state public agencies, in the distribution of drinking water to the communities of Vila Nova, Burajuba and Bom Futuro. 

Alunorte’s operations are running as normal. Alunorte is the world’s largest alumina refinery, and employs around 2,000 people, mostly citizens of Pará.

Recommended for you