Special terminal for handling and storing sulfuric acid at the Port of Burgas: A new terminal for handling and storing sulfuric acid was officially inaugurated at the Port of Burgas on the Black Sea. The entire storage capacity is 50,000 tons of sulfuric acid. Both projects (the terminal for sulfuric acid and the warehouse for copper raw materials) were implemented in cooperation with the largest private port operator in Bulgaria – BMF Port Burgas. Beide Projekte (das Terminal für Schwefelsäure und das Lager für Kupferrohstoffe) wurden in Zusammenarbeit mit dem größten privaten Hafenbetreiber Bulgariens - BMF Port Burgas - realisiert.
Expansion of fayalite landfill: The first stage of the fayalite landfill expansion was completed and commissioned in May 2018. The objective of the project is to build an extension to the existing fayalite landfill that will consist of two cells with a total capacity of ca. 19.8 million tons. The cells are surrounded by soil that is protected by an insulating layer and equipped with a drainage system. Each cell will be built in eight separate stages up to the height of the existing fayalite landfill.
Warehouse for copper raw materials in the Port of Burgas: A new warehouse for copper raw materials opened at BMF Port Burgas in May 2017. The warehouse has a storage capacity of 65,000 tons of copper concentrates and covers an area of 6,000 m2. The focus of this project is on improving environmental performance when it comes to protecting the air. The new facilities enable the transport and storage of copper concentrates in closed rooms. In the process, bulk material is handled without losses. The current equipment uses the best available techniques (BAT).
Closure of the third sludge landfill: Similar to the first and second sludge landfills, the third sludge landfill for sludge from wastewater and off-gas treatment was successfully closed according to plan and in conformity with all applicable environmental requirements (especially Directive 1999/31/EC). The closed landfill will now be monitored for at least the next 30 years to ensure that all restoration work was successful.
New additional treatment plant for secondary hood off-gases (Sulfacid): The new gas cleaning system (Sulfacid) was constructed and commissioned in full conformity with the best available techniques (BAT). The project makes a notable contribution to environmental protection. It uses a modern process, a technology called Sulfacid, that is unique for Bulgaria and for the entire copper smelting industry.
Opening of a rainwater treatment plant: Aurubis invested a total of € 6.3 million in the treatment plant for rainwater and drainage water. The building phase extended over a year and comprised the construction of the facility with a capacity of 250 m³/h and containment basins for accumulated wastewater. To decrease emissions to water sustainably, this plant cleans the rain and drainage water from the premises, which cover a surface of 4 km². The plant conforms to the best available techniques (BAT).
Investment program “Aurubis Bulgaria 2014”: The project, which had a capital expenditure volume of € 44.2 million, included environmental protection measures amounting to € 26 million. The objective of the program was to improve the environmental balance of the smelting operations, in addition to process improvements. These improvements included the expansion of the filter capacity for the concentrate drying facility, the replacement of the concentrate burner, the expansion of the smelting furnace’s cooling equipment, and the modification and increase of the waste heat boiler’s heat exchange capacity. The construction of the new additional treatment plant for secondary hood off-gases was a considerable contribution the project made to environmental protection.
Use of waste materials and introduction of a new product in the portfolio: At the end of 2012, EU subsidies to Aurubis Bulgaria were approved for a project to recycle waste materials and to introduce a new product (fayalite/fine-grained iron silicate) to the portfolio. The project was financed by the EU Regional Development Fund as part of the program “Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy” (2007-2013) together with the Bulgarian government. The 50 % financial support is contractually guaranteed and is related to the regional development program category “Investments in Green Industries.” Among other things, the project includes the purchasing and commissioning of new equipment for copper scrap processing and a filter press for drying fayalite, which opens up additional possibilities for using this by-product.
Opening of new Tankhouse: The new Tankhouse operates with fully automatic equipment and uses state-of-the-art technology pursuant to the ISA 2000 standard (Australia). The process is monitored and controlled by an automatic management system (DCS 7). The total costs for building the Tankhouse amounted to € 82 million, making it the largest industrial investment in Bulgaria at that time.
First conventional treatment system for secondary hood off-gases: In 2008, the first conventional treatment system for secondary hood off-gases was officially commissioned in full conformity with the best available techniques (BAT). The system notably reduces emissions of fine dust and sulfur dioxide. The total investment for the project amounted to € 14 million and was financed by Aurubis.
Upgrade of Sulfuric Acid Plant: The sulfur dioxide-rich gases that form during copper concentrate smelting in the flash smelter and at the converters are cleaned, dried, and converted into sulfuric acid in the Sulfuric Acid Plant. The facility consists of two identical units that produce concentrated sulfuric acid fully automatically. This is both used internally and sold for external use.
Opening of the second and third stages of the treatment plant for industrial wastewater: In 2005, the second and third stages of the treatment plant for industrial wastewater were commissioned. They use a modern technology that was developed to treat industrial wastewater in a three-stage process and that guarantees adherence to the limits for water emissions.
Environmental remediation program: The “Georgi Damyanov” smelter was operated as a state-owned company from 1958 to 1997. Due to inadequate investments in environmental protection by the Bulgarian government, there were considerable environmental impacts in the region during this time. The company was privatized in 1997 and managed by the Belgian Union Minière Group from that point. The privatization agreement included a remediation program amounting to US$ 25 million, among other things. Within the scope of this program, defunct facilities were torn down, building rubble was appropriately disposed of, and landfill areas (the sludge settling pond known as the “Blue Lagoon,” the fayalite landfill, the slag landfill) and contaminated soil were rehabilitated. In the course of the remediation program, the first stage of the treatment plant for industrial wastewater and the first landfill for sludge from wastewater and off-gas treatment were built and commissioned in 1999.