Emphasis on Environmental Issues
Protecting and preserving the environment is an important and central part of Alcoa's worldwide operations, including the Fjardaál smelter in Reydarfjordur. Minimizing negative environmental impact factors, supporting sustainable development and counteracting climate changes are a vital part of the company’s environmental approach.
Alcoa Fjardaál is one of the most technologically advanced smelters in the world and uses the best available technology for minimizing environmental impact. State-of-the-art cleansing equipment in the smelter neutralizes more than 99.5% of fluorides from the emissions which are re-used in the aluminum production. No wastewater from the smelter’s production process is released into the sea and the aim is set for no waste disposal to landfills. The company also oversees extensive monitoring on various environmental factors in the vicinity of the smelter.
Icelandic laws and regulations set a limit for specific chemicals in the smelter’s emissions. Where no Icelandic regulations are applicable, Norwegian and European limits are applied. Alcoa Fjardaál’s operation permit assumes that these limits may be extended during startup, but when the smelter is fully operational the concentration of these chemicals will be under all set limits, and in some cases far below them.
Alcoa Fjardaál strives for recycling wherever possible and spent pot lining, dross and other by-products from the aluminum production are sent overseas for recycling.
The effects of the smelter and the associated power plant on various factors in the environment, community and economy are monitored in a unique Sustainability Initiative that Alcoa Fjardaál and Landsvirkjun set up in East-Iceland.