The Project involves the acquisition of existing particleboard, medium density fibreboard (MDF) and a urea-formaldehyde resin production facilities in the town of Sebes, Romania. The Bank’s financing will be used for acquisition and financial restructuring. As part of the Project, Kronospan is planning to finance a debottlenecking programme of € 5 million to enhance the operation of the facilities and to expand the particleboard production with a second production line of 500,000 m3/year in 2006.
Mechanical wood processing, such as particleboard and MDF production, is associated with a limited number of environmental issues, which can be readily identified. In modern plants like this, adverse impacts can be easily mitigated with best available technology, project design and work practises. The facilities are located on industrial area in the outskirt of town Sebes. The site is surrounded by other industrial properties, a road and agricultural land. The distance to the closest permanent residential properties is approximately 200 m. There are no known environmentally valuable or sensitive areas in the vicinity of the site. The project is unlikely to be associated with significant environmental issues. For the above mentioned reasons the project was screened B/1, requiring an Environmental Audit and Environmental Analysis.
Part of the site is old industrial property, on which a Romanian wood processing plant had operated since 1960’s. The rest of the site is previous agricultural land designated for industrial purposes. Prior to starting the construction of the current facilities in 1998, geological and hydrological site investigations of the site were carried out. The soil and the groundwater sample analysis did not identify any potential contamination. No significant accidents or spills of harmful substances have occurred during the construction or operation of the current facilities.
The current production facilities have been designed to meet EU environmental standards and include state of the art technology with high standards of energy and resource efficiency and of environmental performance. The designs incorporate measures for minimising air emissions, water consumption, wastewater discharge, noise and waste quantities. The facilities include efficient wood dust recovery and recycling system and in-built ventilation system that removes dust and solvent and formaldehyde containing glue vapours directly from the emission sources ensuring good indoor air quality and healthy working conditions. The environmental monitoring reports showed that the environmental impacts have been insignificant and efficiently mitigated.
The facilities currently consume approximately 750,000 tonnes of wood per annum. A substantial part of the wood raw material is wood residues (shavings, trimmings, chips) from local sawmills and timber processing companies. The round wood used consists mainly of low grade industrial wood, which have little or no commercial value and which is currently mainly disposed of. The utilisation level of the wood as either raw material or fuel is 100%. When the plant has reached full capacity operation including the new chipboard production line, the wood consumption will be up to 1,500,000 tonnes/year. Most of the incremental wood raw material will consist of wood residues from local wood processing plants.
The urea-formaldehyde resin plant has been designed to meet EU Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control directive’s Best Available Technology guidelines for Large Volume Organic Chemical Industry. The plant includes a state-of-the-art emission control system with after burner and continuous monitoring, which ensures that formaldehyde emissions are kept within allowable level of 20 mg/m3 measured as Total Organic Carbon.
The facilities have closed process water cycle and no industrial wastewater is discharged. Rain and storm water and the drainage water from watering the wood storage during summer months is collected, purified in sedimentation tanks and evaporated. Minor amount of domestic wastewater is discharged to the municipal sewage network and treated in the municipal waste water treatment plant which has adequate capacity to treat these effluents.
The chemical storage and methanol storage tanks adhere to European safety standards. Storage tanks for liquid chemicals have secondary containment.
Noise abatement has been taken into consideration in the project design and the plant layout. Equipment with significant noise are installed in noise suppressing enclosures. The noise levels are within allowable limits.
The solid waste management is organised in accordance with the following principles:
- All wastes are sorted and recycled when possible;
- Bark, residual wood chips and saw dust is be used as fuel;
- Waste packaging materials is collected and recycled, or used as a fuel;
- Sludge from stormwater sedimentation tanks is be burned in wood waste boilers;
- Ash from the boiler is be recycled for soil improvement or disposed of in the municipal landfill;
- Household waste collection is outsourced to a municipal waste management company.
Transportation to and from the plant is carried out by both rail and road. The road traffic is not causing significant disturbance to the surroundings. The increase of railway transport is negligible.
Fire fighting systems are in place in all production buildings. Staff is trained in fire prevention and fire-fighting.
Kronospan is planning a debottlenecking programme of EUR 5 million to enhance the operation of the facilities is planned for the near future. It includes a number of minor modifications to the existing facilities that will improve product quality, enhance efficiency and enable an increase of production capacity. The production volume increase will not be significant and the facilities will continue performing within the limit values of the current environmental permit and in accordance with EU standards.
Kronospan is committed to adopt and implement wood procurement procedures that are based on principles of sustainable forestry, ensuring that:
- the wood does not originate from statutory protected forests, forest areas included in nature conservation programmes or sites which have been notified by the authorities to be excluded from felling;
- the origin of the wood is monitored;
- suppliers operate according to the principles of sustainable development, in compliance with the legislation currently in force and under the supervision of state authorities; and
- the biodiversity and the functions of the forest ecosystem are maintained in accordance with internationally and nationally approved principles.
The facilities will adhere to Kronospan’s corporate occupational health and safety standards that are in use in Kronospan’s other plants, including those located in EU countries. All necessary measures will be implemented to achieve healthy working conditions. Kronospan is committed to adopt and implement Occupational Health and Safety management system in accordance with OHSAS 18001 certification standards.
The facility is located in the outskirts of the town of Sebes, which has traditions in wood processing trade. The facility offers jobs for local residents. The need for workforce will slightly increase after the expansion of the particleboard line.
The Bank will evaluate the project's compliance with the applicable environmental and social requirements during the lifetime of the project by reviewing annual environmental reports (AERs) prepared for the project covering: (i) ongoing performance of project-specific environmental, health and safety activities as reflected in the results of periodic and quantitative sampling and measuring programmes, (ii) the status of implementation of environmental mitigation and improvement measures. The Bank’s representatives will also conduct periodic site supervision visits when deemed appropriate.
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