“We hear a lot about the greenhouse effect and the effects of global warming, such as rising temperatures, lowering rainfall or extreme weather events. However, we rarely relate threats to ourselves and even less to the company we work for. So let’s try to ask and answer the question: is it unstable? the climate may have an impact on the economic situation of Grupa Kęty? Not only can it, but to some extent it already does. and heat treatment of aluminum, requiring significant amounts of water Only for the anodizing line we use 30 m3 of water per hour!
Hence the actions we have taken and are planning to implement in order to make better use of limited resources. Already in 2006, we replaced it with a new plant water supply in order to eliminate any losses. Due to the length and structure of the network, it was a considerable undertaking. In 2007, we implemented the collection of water from ground drainage for production purposes, eliminating the intake of groundwater. We provided a special drainage system for the drainage network on the premises of the plant. Previously, the drainage water was irretrievably lost. We also operate an extensive closed water circulation system. The water in this installation is heated during thermal processes related to the smelting and processing of aluminum, then it is cooled in the so-called “Cooling tower” and returned to production. This way, the plant saves over 3 million m3 of water annually!
In addition to groundwater, we also have experience with the use of rainwater.
In 2016, we connected the roofs of Zakład Wlewków and Stopów Miękkie with the return wells of the circulating water. During rainfall, water from the roof slopes replenishes evaporation losses and refreshes the water in a closed circuit.
At the beginning of 2020, we made a decision to use good quality water from our wells for drinking purposes for all employees. Therefore, we have resigned from purchasing water in plastic bottles. Dispensers with water filters have been installed in the plant. They have the option of heating and cooling water, with the option of gassing. The use of own water additionally reduced the costs of exporting and utilizing plastic packaging.
We are currently working on a water management strategy for the coming years. It will include, in particular, the technical assessment and functioning of the system, economic analysis of the optimal water management and implementation of new installations and engineering tools. Due to the significant reduction of the groundwater level and thus the efficiency of the intakes of Grupa Kęty, we are currently focusing on increasing water recycling. We see potential in the recovery of rainwater by modifying the existing drainage system. The use of rainwater will help to meet the needs of the future production of the plant and protect it against the negative effects of climate change.