NPC to Invest 17m in Environmental Projects

NPC to Invest 17m in Environmental ProjectsNPC to Invest 17m in Environmental Projects

The National Petrochemical Company (NPC) will invest a total of $17.5 million for implementation of environmental projects by petrochemical complexes during the Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2016-2020), health, safety, and environment (HSE) executive at the NPC said Sunday.

The initiative includes wastewater treatment, implementation of a comprehensive green area scheme, afforestation projects on mountains near the southeastern Assalouyeh city, and reducing industry pollutants, Ghodratollah Nassiri was quoted by Shana news agency as saying.

Quality of petrochemical complexes' wastewater will be standardized, the official said, adding that petrochemical companies have been granted a 30-month moratorium to treat wastewater in accordance with defined standards and later discharge them into the sea.

Expressing optimism that all petrochemical complexes will be equipped with on-line monitoring systems in the near future, Nassiri said output of all complexes will be kept under surveillance to ensure environmental regulations are met.

Wastewater treatment in petroleum refineries is a complex process, demanding environmental management skills as byproducts can be both volatile and toxic. Petrochemical wastewater often requires a combination of treatment methods to remove oil and other contaminants before discharge.

In view of the country's water shortage, the NPC has also embarked on projects to fully make use of petrochemical wastewaters also with the aim to reduce pollution. Projects were launched in several petrochemical complexes to create green areas utilizing treated wastewater.

Plans are also underway to plant local vegetations on Assalouyeh Mountains, which are to be watered with petrochemical wastewater using drip irrigation.

Iran only gets about 200 millimeters of rain a year, about a third of the global average, and 75 percent of it falls on only 25 percent of its area. Around 97 percent of surface water and 70 percent of groundwater supplies are drawn to meet the growing demand. According to latest reports, renewable water resources - which have decreased to 101 billion cubic meters - cannot meet the current demand any longer, and if this consumption trend continues almost 70 percent of the population, or 50 million people, will have to emigrate from Iran to survive.