In our commitment to operating responsibly within a water-scarce region, we prioritise reducing water consumption for the benefit of our operations, the community, and the environment.
It is essential to note that our company relies solely on seawater as our primary water source, rather than freshwater resources. The majority of water withdrawn is in fact seawater, utilised for cooling purposes during the process and subsequently discharged back into the sea. Additionally, we procure freshwater from Kahramaa, obtained through the desalination of seawater, which is then utilised in our steel making, rolling mill, and DRI plants. Due to the nature of the steel making and rolling mill processes, the water evaporates and therefore there is no wastewater generation in these plants. On the other hand, the water used in the DRI plant for washing and cooling of reformed gas, is then sent to a water treatment section to abate any ammonia present in the water before being discharged to sea. Part of the treated water is reused in the plant for cooling, irrigation, and other purposes.
Upon analysing our water management practices, it is evident that our primary impact stems from the discharge of water to the sea. Consequently, our efforts are concentrated on minimising the amount of water discharged by reducing our water requirements, maximising recycling initiatives, and implementing stringent controls to ensure compliance with regulations governing water discharge. By taking these measures, we aim to mitigate our environmental footprint and actively contribute to responsible water management.
In 2022, there were notable increases in water withdrawal, water consumption, and water discharge compared to 2021. These increases were primarily a result of our production shifting to the DR2 plant, which boasts a higher capacity than the DR1 plant operational in 2021.
Regarding water reuse, it is important to highlight that the absolute volume of water reused witnessed a significant growth of over 38%. However, the relative percentage of water reused decreased due to the unavailability of the Near Zero Liquid Discharge (NZLD) Plant, which hindered us from maximizing water reuse opportunities.
In order to successfully achieve our water management optimisation objectives, it is imperative that we finalise the construction of the NZLD Plant. Throughout 2022, significant progress was made in terms of equipment installation and inspection. Looking ahead to 2023, our plan is to complete the installation and inspection, and conduct a cold run of the plant before its official start-up.