A suitable technique has now been found and Outokumpu will invest in mercury cleaning technology at Tornio plant. Mercury is a foreign matter in stainless steel production: Outokumpu does not use mercury at all in its stainless steel production. Yet small amounts end up in the process in recycled steel which sometimes contains mercury.
Says Hannu Hautala, Senior Vice President, Outokumpu Tornio Business Line: "We have found a method that is suitable for use in the Tornio melt shop process, and cleaning equipment have been piloted since last summer. The method proved to be effective and safe, and Outokumpu has made an investment decision of 400 000 euros to acquire own installations".
On the basis of test results mercury cleaners further reduce Tornio plant mercury emissions significantly. In the stainless steel industry, Outokumpu is among the few producers who monitor mercury concentration and emissions with continuous measurements, and has acquired also a second continuous measuring device.
The long-term measurements of mercury concentration in vegetation indicate that the levels of mercury concentrations in Tornio and Haaparanta are same as elsewhere in the Nordic urban areas, and significantly lower than in Central Europe.
Outokumpu produces stainless steel with the lowest emissions in the world. "Over a period of 10 years we have implemented more than 400 million euros in direct environment investments Group-wide, and have reduced our carbon footprint by 25%. The carbon footprint of the Outokumpu Kemi-Tornio supply chain is the smallest in the world compared to other stainless steel producers. In addition, Outokumpu makes use of more than 80% recycled material," says Hannu Hautala.
Vaasa Administrative Court has today announced its decision related to the 2012 submitted complaint against Northern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency’s decision to grant an environmental permit for Outokumpu’s Tornio plants. The decision was as expected, and the complaint was dismissed. Outokumpu Tornio site has a valid environmental permit which was renewed in the context of expansion of Outokumpu ferrochrome production in August 2012, after which the Swedish Sea and Water Authority submitted the now dismissed appeal.
Outokumpu (outokumpu.com) is a global leader in stainless steel. We create advanced materials that are efficient, long lasting and recyclable thus building a world that lasts forever. Stainless steel, invented a century ago, is an ideal material to create lasting solutions in demanding applications from cutlery to bridges, energy and medical equipment: it is 100% recyclable, corrosion-resistant, maintenance-free, durable and hygienic. Outokumpu employs more than 12 000 professionals in more than 30 countries, with headquarters in Espoo, Finland and shares listed in the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.