TRIMET supports Emscher conversionDr. Andreas Lützerath, Philipp Schlüter, Essen Mayor Rudolf Jelinek and Dr. Uli Paetzel
The ground-breaking ceremony took place on August 19 at the TRIMET aluminium smelter in the north of Essen. TRIMET CEO Philipp Schlüter and TRIMET Board Member Dr. Andreas Lützerath together with Essen Mayor Rudolf Jelinek and Dr. Uli Paetzel, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Emschergenossenschaft, performed the groundbreaking ceremony. The new wastewater system will further reduce the burden on the Emscher River. The previous mixed water system fed cooling water from the aluminium smelter and the foundry along with sanitary wastewater generated during operations and rainwater from the plant premises into the Berne River in a coordinated manner. To relieve this outflow into the Emscher, TRIMET plans to decouple the mixed water system. The cooling water and sanitary wastewater will then be treated in a separate system.
“TRIMET’s project is an encouraging sign of successful structural change in which industry assumes responsibility for a healthy and livable environment for our citizens,” said Rudolf Jelinek, Mayor of the City of Essen.
“As a family business, we take a multi-generational approach in our planning and actions. Making a commitment to the region in which we live also safeguards our location,” said Philipp Schlüter, Chairman of the Executive Board of TRIMET Aluminium SE. “The new wastewater system is further proof that modern industrial production goes hand in hand with protecting our environment and landscape.” TRIMET is investing several million euros in the construction of the new treatment and distribution facilities over the next two years. In so doing, the company is participating in the long-term Emscher conversion project to revitalize the Emscher. The river, which crosses the central Ruhr area in an east-west direction, is to be freed of wastewater in the coming years and largely renatured. “This local project is an important contribution to the Emscher conversion. It brings us one step closer to more sustainability and quality of life in our region. And most importantly, the Emscher will continue to be relieved of wastewater discharge,” said Dr. Uli Paetzel, CEO of the Emschergenossenschaft.
The project also makes an important contribution in the context of the future initiative “Water in the City of Tomorrow”, in which the Emschergenossenschaft, together with the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Emscher cities, is developing measures to adapt to climate change. The future initiative is one of the lead projects of the “Green Infrastructure” thematic forum at the Ruhr Conference.
At the TRIMET site, only rainwater from the roofs of production halls and sealed areas of the 500,000 square meter plant premises will be discharged into the Berne. TRIMET is building two rainwater retention basins with capacities of 4,100 and 3,400 cubic meters as well as two pumping stations at a depth of ten meters, each capable of pumping up to 2,200 liters of water per second into the basins. After subsequent sedimentation and filtration, the purified water will be discharged into the Berne. TRIMET is also constructing a separate sewage network for cooling water from the production facilities and sanitary wastewater from the Essen production plant. For this purpose, new sewers will be laid over a distance encompassing 4.5 kilometers. This water will be emitted via two discharge points into a new sewer constructed by the Emschergenossenschaft at a depth of around 20 metres below the Berne. It will then be purified in the wastewater treatment plants of the public water management association. Work on the construction of the new canal system is to be completed by 2021.