The EBRD is considering providing a long-term loan to Azer-Yod LLC which owns and operates an iodine production plant in Hasanabad, Neftchala district, Azerbaijan. The proceeds of the loan will be used to purchase and install a new production line, revamp the infrastructure and acquire additional equipment in line with the Company’s strategy to increase its design capacity and output. The iodine produced is mainly exported.
The project will foster private sector development and economic diversification in the regions of Azerbaijan. In addition, the contemplated environmental improvements will enable the Company to achieve compliance with EU standards. The transition impact will stem from the demonstration effect of a successful restructuring of the Company and setting higher standards for corporate governance and business conduct.
Azer-Yod LLC, a limited liability company incorporated and existing under the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan (the ‘Company’). The Company is the only iodine producer in Azerbaijan.
Up to USD 15.0 million senior loan
Approximately USD 17.0 million
The project is screened as B/1. The increased production of iodine at an existing plant has only limited environmental and social impacts, which can be readily identified and quantified in an Environmental Analysis. An audit of the existing facilities has also been carried out.
A project with the same client was first proposed to EBRD in 2005. At the time, an environmental analysis and an audit were carried out for the project by independent consultants and an EAP was prepared. The current proposed project reflects the initial project with minor differences. For the current project, the original Environmental Analysis has been reviewed by the EBRD to confirm its adequacy. In addition, the site was visited by EBRD Environmental Specialists in 2007 to review the implementation status of the initial EAP which was agreed in 2005.
Environmental and social issues
The review of the Environmental Analysis report concluded that the impact analysis and the mitigation measures proposed in the 2005 report are still valid. The main environmental issues identified in that report can be summarised as follows:
- Impact on geological environment, topography and landscapes due to vehicle traffic and the construction of pipelines;
- Potential salinization of soils due to the discharge of highly saline wastewater during restoration and testing of wells;
- Treatment and disposal of sanitary wastewater;
- Discharge of the highly saline process wastewater;
- Hazardous and non-hazardous waste management;
- Preparedness to emergency situations during operations.
The environmental analysis concluded that all the health, safety and environmental risks identified in connection with iodine production rehabilitation at the project site are controllable and the risk is rated as medium /low. The Environmental Analysis indicates that, with adoption of the mitigation measures specified in the Environmental Action Plan (EAP), the overall environmental impacts of construction and operation of the project will not be significant.
Separate from the environmental due diligence carried out by the EBRD, the Ministry of Ecology has raised potential compliance issues with respect to wastewater discharges. Subsequently, an agency of the Ministry conducted additional tests in October 2008 which proved that the Company is in compliance.
In November 2010, the Bank commissioned an independent consultant to undertake a monitoring site visit and review the environmental, social, workers’ health and safety and labour aspects of the project against EBRD requirements and to address the specific issues raised by stakeholders. The consultant's findings indicated a need for a more comprehensive effluent and air quality monitoring programme to determine the impact of the project on the local environment and that the existing occupational health and safety management practices needed to be improved. We are currently in the process of revising the project Environmental Action Plan (EAP).
Summary of Environmental Plan
Based on the findings of the Environmental Analysis and the review of baseline conditions, the Consultants prepared a set of recommendations in the form of an Environmental Action Plan in 2005. During the EBRD site visit in October 2007, it was observed that some of the actions in the EAP had already been taken. The EAP was revised to reflect the progress made until that date. After the monitoring site visit in November 2010, an updated EAP reflecting the findings of the audit was agreed with the Client in May 2011. The main implementation requirements in the current revised EAP can be summarised as follows:
- Undertake a program of detailed effluent monitoring to establish the chemical content of discharged effluent including iodine and chlorine. Following the monitoring, undertake a Detailed Quantitative Risk Assessment (DQRA) to assess the potential impact of the effluent on the water quality of the Canal and the Caspian Sea.
- Undertake emissions monitoring to demonstrate compliance with the permit and assess whether air emissions from the facility have the potential to impact the health of nearby residents and facility staff.
- Continuous assessment/appraisal of safety conditions at the site.
- Update the workplace risk assessments including exposure to iodine vapour and chlorine and undertake health screening for potential occupational illnesses and conditions.
- Undertake a radiological survey of the entire site and the well field pump houses and holding reservoirs.
- Develop a grievance mechanism.
- Undertake a review of PPE needs and provisions for all its operations.
- Improve hazardous material and hazardous waste management pracitces
- Implement a program of inspection and maintenance of the above ground chlorine pipelines;
- Improve the condition of changing facilities available for employees;
- Carry out an asbestos survey and develop an asbestos management plan accordingly;
- In addition to the ongoing repairs, carry out a program of inspection, repair and maintenance of all aboveground pipelines and storage tanks to prevent the accidental release of raw water;
- Carry out computer modelling of dispersion of wastewater discharges based on actual design data and based on the results identify limits for wastewater discharge;
- Restore the soil around all wells put into operation;
- Monitor soil/erosion processes;
- Remove metal scrap from the well locations and send them to specialist companies for recycling;
- Continue removing sanitary wastewater by special tank trucks to the municipal wastewater treatment facilities;
- Carry out a noise monitoring at locations with high noise level; provide the staff with ear plugs and ensure they are used by the staff.
The Client is required to provide to the EBRD annual reports on environmental and social matters.
Mr. Iskender Sadikhov
Tel.: +994 12 5674553
Fax: +994 12 5674558
For business opportunities or procurement, contact the client company.
EBRD project enquiries not related to procurement:
Tel: +44 20 7338 7168
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