Due to the nature of the materials used in metallurgical production, an impact on the environment is inevitable. This process is constantly being optimized in order to diminish the impact on the environment, a main priority of Aurubis Bulgaria.
From company privatization in 1997 until now, almost € 600 million has been invested in modernization, € 100 million of which has been used to implement measures to enhance the company’s environmental performance. An important investment was made between 2006 and 2008 for the construction of a gas cleaning system costing € 12.5 million.
In line with the major modernization, two state-of-the-art environmental protection facilities were built and commissioned in the recent years. A new rainwater treatment plant started up in November 2014. The plant treats rainwater and drainage water from the company premises, an area of 4 km², in order to reduce water emissions.
A new second gas cleaning system is in normal operation since March 2016. The new system employs a modern sulfuric acid technology, Sulfacid, which is unique for Bulgaria as well as for the global copper smelting industry. This new emission control installation is further reducing the sulfur dioxide and fugitive emissions from the smelter.
Aurubis takes responsibility for environmental protection. As nature conservation and biodiversity being one of the environmental targets Aurubis Bulgaria improves the living conditions of plants and animals and voluntarily restored areas by planting grasses, bushes and trees. Decommissioned landfill areas on the premises of Aurubis Bulgaria will be remediated as part of the closure procedure.
Other environmental projects that reduce further emissions also leads to positive effects on the environment. A reduction of metal emissions into water for example will improve the living conditions in rivers.
Since 2006 Aurubis Bulgaria has implemented an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. The latest recertification and transition to the new requirements of ISO 14001 in 2015 has been successfully completed in 2018. The external audits of the Management System include a review of the environmental data, compliance with legal provisions and a verification that operating processes are effective.
The site in Pirdop has been part of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme since 2008. The site has consistently improved its energy efficiency over the years. It is the site’s ambition to invest in additional environmental measures and energy efficiency enhancements.