Qatar Steel’s Sustainability Roadmap Objectives have prioritized water management as a material issue and subsequently set a target to implement leading water management practices for both Qatar, and the international Steel Industry. The water used for the company’s operations is comprised of both freshwater and seawater. The first is primarily used as circulating cooling water for the process and machineries of DR, EF, CC and RM Plants, while the latter is used as a non-contact secondary once-through cooling agent of the primary circulating process and machineries cooling water systems of the Plants.
The Water Management approach focuses on three objectives;
Decrease freshwater consumption
Reducing wastewater discharge
Increase recycling rate of processed water
The company has set challenging targets and is closely monitoring performance. As a result of the increase in consumption of freshwater in 2014, Qatar Steel has implemented stringent measures to address water usage.
The second target, to decrease the discharge of wastewater, aligns with the Ministry of Municipalities and Environment’s “Zero Liquid Discharge” goal. Qatar Steel hired a consultant in early 2015 to determine how this target can be achieved. The company’s current technology can recycle only 88% of blow down water, and Qatar Steel is collaborating with industry partners and regulatory agencies to chart a feasible path forward with respect to the ‘Near Zero Liquid Discharge’ goal. The target is to have a system implemented by 2018 that will improve the quality of the discharged water and increase capacity to recycle water.
Qatar Steel has dramatically increased the use of recycled or reused water over the past five years, from less than 30,000 m3 in 2012 to more than 150,000 m3 in 2016. The target for 2017 is to stretch this number to an ambitious but achievable 270,000 m3.