This operation involves a loan to a global producer of metal beverage containers – Ball Corporation (the Sponsor) and its fully owned European subsidiary Ball Packaging Europe Belgrade (BPE Belgrade) for financing of a greenfield aluminium can production facility in Belgrade in order to capitalize from growing demand in Eastern European market. The plant is expected to be fully completed by mid 2005. The project represents the first phase of the planned investments. The second phase (additional production line) is expected to commence in approximately three years should the market develop as expected. The Company plans to export between 70-80% (approximately 2/3) of output which will contribute to a decrease in country’s balance of payments deficit. The new plant will initially employ between 100-150 workers and it is expected that the number will grow to approximately 300 once all phases are completed. The plant, which is expected to be fully completed by the mid 2005, will be located on the 10 hectares property in the Belgrade suburbs (Zemun district).
This project was categorised by EBRD as B/0 requiring an analysis of potential environmental, health and safety impacts associated with the construction and operation the new facility. This analysis comprised a review of an Environmental Impact Assessment study (2004) prepared by an independent local environmental consultant and of the Ball Corporation's corporate environmental program, including its recycling and social responsibility initiatives. Additionally, in June 2004, a member of the Bank's Environmental Department travelled to Serbia to visit the site of the proposed facility. The technology and systems to be used in the Serbian facility are well known to the company, which has a clear understanding of the impacts it will produce and the mitigating measures that are required. The Belgrade facility will be designed and built following a model which has been successfully applied in, for example, Poland, having the same layout, similar equipment and similar processes.
The Zemun site was chosen, among other things, because of its good transport links and its proximity to a major potential clientThe site is located in an industrial zone about ½ km away from the Danube river and is not close to any residential areas or other sensitive sites. It is bordered on two sides by roads and its nearest neighbours are industrial and retail facilities. Ball undertook sampling of the site to check for contamination of soil and groundwater. The results were compared to the internationally recognised Dutch List and classified as category A (non-polluted soils).
Key air emissions include volatile organic compounds ("VOCs") released during the curing (drying in ovens) of just-lacquered cans. Emissions of VOCs will depend on the number of lines up and running. Initially, only one line will be running and the facility will not undertake any secondary treatment of emissions from drying ovens. Only when the second line is installed will the secondary treatment be installed.. This means that, for a time, there will be some release of VOCs to the atmosphere although these will be within the limits required by national law. Ball is aware of the problems associated with the release of VOCs and utilises water based lacquers to reduce any such emissions. The company continues to seek less polluting alternatives to reduce the impacts from this aspect of production.
2. Year: 75 tonnes/a
3. Year: 100 tonnes/a
Waste waters will be treated prior to discharge using a flocculant to gather suspended solid particles and chemicals to remove other contaminants. The facility will also utilise a number of solutions to reduce the amounts of waste water produced. Runoff from outside surfaces will again be gathered and released and sanitary waters will be biologically treated prior to release. In the short term the Company will have to discharge its waste water directly to the River Danube while it awaits connection to the municipal sewerage system. The company will ensure that waste waters discharged directly to the River Danube meet the national requirement as well as EU’s Water directive 2000/60/EC.
Solid wastes from off-cuts, reject cans and filter cake from the waste water treatment plant are graded according to quality. For example, off cuts from the initial can forming process is still virgin aluminium and can be easily recycled back into sheet aluminium. Waste cans which have been lacquered will require much more processing to turn them back into sheet aluminium. Waste metals is therefore gathered, categorised, and compacted into large pellets which are then returned to the aluminium producers for recycling. Filter cake from the waste water treatment process is currently gathered and land filled. The Company is exploring the alternatives uses for the filter cake including use in, for example, road construction, or as backfill for abandoned underground mines.
Acids, lacquers and oils are all stored in separate storage areas and are provided with appropriate protective measures. Acids, for example, are contained in large plastic containers surrounded by a metal cage. When in use, these are kept in a specially bunded area within the factory, the floor of which slopes into a dedicated drainage system. Oil drums are kept in a dedicated bunded area, on racks with drip trays for collecting any spillage.
In the event of an accident or emergency the machinery in the plant shuts down automatically. The facility will be surrounded on the outside a ring of fire hydrants which are constantly pressurised and tested. Inside, the factory is equipped with an automated fire protection system which is modified or enhanced where required i.e. in the lacquer storage area. The factory will have a trained fire team in-house and will co-ordinate with the municipal fire service to ensure a timely and adequate response to any emergency situation. Other than fire there are no specific emergency situations envisaged.
Health and safety issues are, likewise, well recognised and managed by the Company. Training is provided when employees join the Company and repeated at regular intervals during the year. Special training is provided to those undertaking particular tasks such as forklift operators, and health and safety issues are discussed each day at the shift briefings. Health and safety controllers are in charge of monitoring compliance with health and safety requirements and there are a variety of sanctions which can be applied for non-compliance with health and safety rules.
In terms of management systems it is the aim to get the facility certified to ISO 9001: 2000, ISO 14001 and HACCP. ISO 9001:2000 and HACCP are required by many of the customers that Ball supplies and so will be implemented as a matter of priority. The ISO 14001 will be implemented at a slower pace taking into account the developing characteristics of the plant. For each area there will be a dedicated manager (environment, health and safety, quality) who will be locally hired but sent to various other European plants to learn how to correctly implement the systems over which they have authority.
Aluminium wastes, including the post-consumer type, will be gathered, classified, pelletised and returned to the aluminium suppliers for recycling. In Poland an environmental organisation called "Recal" was set up at the instigation of Ball Packaging Europe and other European beverage can producers and aluminium suppliers in 1995. The aim of the organisation is to promote environment education and the recycling of beverage cans. The Recal Trust informs schools about the recycling of the resource aluminium, provides teaching material about beverage cans and organises can collection campaigns aimed at children and young persons. The recycling organisation Recal S.A. is responsible for collecting and recycling cans. Recycling of used beverage cans is constantly increasing since inception and reached 43% in 2003.This rate of recycling has grown far faster than the regulated requirement which states that UBC recycling should be around 20% by year 2003.
This will take form of annual environmental reports and periodic monitoring visits of the Bank’s ED staff as required. It should be noted that all corporate facilities provide regular reports back to the Ball Technical Centre located in Bonn. The reporting is provided as part of the ISO 14001 management system and allows the company to monitor the different environmental aspects of facility operation with the aim to use best practice at each facility. The reporting system also allows the company to exchange information between different facilities and to issue new instructions.
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