The Authority in Potassium and Magnesium
February 19, 2013
K+S is currently implementing a number of major projects in relation to protection of waterbodies with capital expenditure of about € 360 million in the Hesse-Thuringia potash district. The goal is to achieve a further significant reduction in the saline wastewater arising from fertilizer production and to create the basis for a long-term concept for sustainable local waste management. As there are reservations regarding long-term local waste management solutions, K+S Kali GmbH is also working at the same time on the examination of pipelines to the Upper Weser and North Sea. On 19 February 2013, a first application conference on the preparation of a regional planning procedure in Hesse will be held regarding a possible pipeline to the Upper Weser.
The regional planning procedure is intended to establish the compatibility of the construction of the pipeline with the goals of federal state planning. As this is related to an environmental impact assessment, it also involves the participation of the public in the procedure. The framework for the later application as well as the required research and expert reports will be established at an application conference prior to the start of the actual procedure. To that end, the regional council of Kassel has invited public interest parties and the representatives of recognised nature conservation associations to the application conference on 19 February 2013.
In line with the planning requirements of a regional planning procedure, two route corridors to the Upper Weser were worked out, in which the laying of a pipeline appears to be possible in principle. They lead from Philippsthal in a westerly direction past Kassel, and in an easterly direction around Kassel through the districts of Göttingen and Northeim. These corridors are designed to be very wide as a search context for a pipeline route. They will be further specified after the regional planning procedure for the subsequent approval process. The size and spatial arrangement of the reservoirs, which are necessary for the control of discharge and buffering when the flow of water is low, is a similar case. As, overall, for the planning, the effects on the environment are to be minimised as much as possible, not only the route planning, but also the required storage capacity are being examined in the regional planning procedure with regard to the greatest possible compatibility with the environment and to the possibilities of reduction.
From today’s perspective, it is planned to make an application for the Upper Weser pipeline for the regional planning procedure at the end of 2013. Already in the first half of 2013, corresponding application conferences will be held for the North Sea pipeline. At present, talks are being held with the Lower Saxony authorities. The Company assumes that, for this pipeline, an application for a regional planning procedure can be made in 2014. This is being done regardless of the fact that the test criteria for pipelines agreed with the federal states of Hesse and Thuringia and accepted by the Round Table have not yet been fulfilled objectively. However, this has to be the case before any decision on construction can be made.
The working out of long-term waste management solutions is embedded in the overall strategy of K+S. The goal is to be able to use domestic raw materials for industrial added value in future too, successfully and competitively, and to minimise necessary interventions in nature and the landscape.
In six mines in Germany, including the Werra Verbund plant, K+S KALI GmbH mines crude salts containing potash, magnesium and sulphur and produces a wide range of high-quality products from them for the agricultural, industrial, healthcare and food sectors. Of the more than 8,000 people employed by the Company, some 5,000 are based at the production sites in Hesse and Thuringia.
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