More than 3,247 tons of industrial waste from the Esmeraldas Refinery were exported this Tuesday, August 18, by Petroecuador to treatment plants in France for final disposal.
Technicians from the Suez-Ecuambiente contractor company carried out the transfer of the chemicals from the refining center facilities to the city’s port, for the respective shipment. The waste is made up of spent caustic soda and diethanolamine (DEA) , which cannot be processed and disposed of in the country.
The general manager of Petroecuador, Pablo Flores , highlighted that “it has been an intense work of the public company to export this waste. We invested $ 7.9 million to eliminate these environmental liabilities from the Esmeraldas Refinery and we will continue with all good environmental practices for a more efficient and less polluting operation ”.
Technicians from the public company and the contractor worked for about a year and a half in the characterization, labeling of the products and the transfer to isotanks. In addition, cross-border permits were obtained from the countries of origin, transit and destination, such as Ecuador, Panama and France.
These permits were obtained with the support of the Ministry of the Environment and Water, which carried out the negotiations with their peers from the other countries involved, to have all the authorizations for the transfer of the products, as established by the Basel Convention.
E l ship cargo residue left Tuesday at noon from Esmeraldas and will have an estimated 22 – day journey to reach France, then will transfer by land to the specialized plant in Rousillon , so that in 90 days will perform treatment of these wastes. It is estimated that the following year, Petroecuador will have final disposal certificates, issued by the Ministry of the Environment.
The treatment in Europe consists of the incineration of the soda at high temperatures , to ensure the total destruction of the substances and prevent the formation of secondary compounds harmful to the environment.
This type of plant has specialized systems for treatment of emissions , thus ensuring that the gases produced by the destruction of the waste are purified prior to their emission into the atmosphere.
Once this procedure is completed, the contractor company issues certificates of final destruction of the waste, which are approved by the Ministry of the Environment. Spent caustic soda is a corrosive liquid substance that is produced in gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) treatment operations.
In Ecuador there is no technology for the final management of this waste, so this waste must be exported to specialized plants abroad for its final disposal.