Thursday, March 31, 2011

Speeches of "The Survey of Unipak Tissue Mill’s Environmental Impact" Press Conference

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A press conference was held this morning at the Lebanese Ministry of Environment, under the direction of HE Mohamed Rahal, regarding "The Survey of Unipak Tissue Mill’s Environmental Impact". 

Transcripts of the speeches appear below for:

Neemat Frem, President of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI) 

Roger Tanios, Representative of Unipak Tissue Mill

Neemat Frem
President of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI)

I salute Unipak Tissue Mill for taking the initiative to launch this partnership with the Ministry of Environment. It is, indeed, an honorific starting point for the servicing of both the Lebanese industry and the Lebanese environment.

As president of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, I have previously warmly welcomed “The Assessment of Industrial Companies’ Environmental Impact” project and have collaborated with HE Minister Rahal to launch the respective workshop. I take the opportunity to appeal to my fellow industrialists to seize this present initiative: a great step, indeed, in a long journey that will be of great benefit to both our national environment and industry.

Lebanese industry is witnessing critical circumstances, in light of the historic impediments standing in the face of growth. The situation has escalated lately due to on-going events which have led to an incredible increase in petroleum cost and a general decrease in economic indexes.

Local exportation percentages registered by the industry during 2010 have also decreased in the first quarter of 2011.

We appeal to the civil society to stand by us in the face of these challenges. Solidarity is a must. The crisis we are witnessing will soon take its toll on all of us; and it might, God forbid, threaten the daily bread of hundreds of thousands of workers in the field.

It is very important to understand that the absence of investment in infrastructure and the lack of public treatment stations have led to untreated public sewage in our cities and villages.

In contrast, the majority of industrialists are opting for the pre-treatment and processing of sewage.

Moreover, the shortage in power generation and distribution in Lebanon has necessitated the use of electric generators in neighborhoods and factories. What amazes us is that some industrialists are generating electrical power within environmental standards that are far better than those produced by Electricité du Liban and neighborhood generators.

We industrialists are all invited to offer more…it is our duty. All of us are invited: public and productive sector, civil society, to assess the painful situation, approach our dilemmas objectively and rationally and try to foresee the danger of our economic reality and the pressure that is being exerted on national industry, which stands tall against all odds.

Together, we can do much!
Together, we can bring needed change!

Roger Tanios
Representative, Unipak Tissue Mill

Not once have we disclosed details about our public investments related to our core philosophy and values of the company. Why?

First, because we strongly believe that our environmental and social mission is an integral part of our essence as human beings. And, second, because we are committed to our solid philosophy dating back to the early 1960s: “What is good for the community is good for the company”.

Today, at the campus of the Lebanese Ministry of Environment and in the presence of the responsible minister, the representatives of the public opinion, and the media, we are pleased to launch, in partnership with the Lebanese Ministry of Environment,

The Survey of Unipak Tissue Mill’s Environmental Impact:
A project forged as part of a scientific approach to an eco-friendly Lebanese industry

Our concern – which will be further detailed in the below synopsis – has long been to remain fully committed to the environment and advocate for it. That’s why we started some time ago to modernize our plants, so they fit environmental requirements for a better environment and a better product easier to export.

Consequently, we declare our commitment to implement any future recommendations that might arise from the aforementioned survey.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

We, in a 7-year period, and before entering an agreement with the Ministry of Environment on the survey of the environmental impact of one of our companies, have, willingly and through individual initiative, invested $10 million US dollars to improve the environmental qualifications of our manufacturing plant: launching projects and research, purchasing equipment and filters, and modernizing and developing environmental plans.

The investment details are as follows:

First: Power Generators
Investment: $8,300,000 USD

Modernizing the electricity generation station by installing 3 high-tech generators in the year 2008; these generators are with reduced emissions and noise; their total cost amounted to approximately $8,300,000 (8 million and 300,000) US dollars.
The main reason behind purchasing these generators is our industry’s need to provide itself with abundant and continued energy which the power station couldn’t ensure.

Second: Heat Recovery Boiler

Changing a complete heat recovery boiler in March 2004, in order to be able to achieve a thermal combustion compliant to the environmental regulations.

Third: Improvement of the Heat Recovery Boiler
Investment: $900,000 USD

The equipping of the heat recovery boiler was completed in November 2010. The technique allows the use of temperature to heat water, reduce pressure on the boiler, and use fuel. The cost amounted to $900,000 US dollars.

Fourth: Improving Effluent Water Treatment
Investment: $200,000 USD

In February 2008, our companies were equipped with an effluent water treatment plant. In fact, basins treat water with high efficiency and allow its reuse in manufacturing. The cost amounted to $200,000 US dollars. 
In September 2009, our companies have been equipped with a third cell, the Flotation Cell, in order to increase the treatment’s efficiency.

Fifth: Heavy Metal Disposal

Special containers have been installed to protect the treatment basins from any heavy metals residues. These are transported later in special trucks outside the company.

Sixth: COD and BOD Monitoring

This technique, which we have recently updated, dates back to November 2003, and is used to reduce and control oxygen and biological component residues. We have the highest ratings in that field.

Seventh: Fuel Oil Processing
Investment: $125,000 USD
Industrialists in Lebanon are unwillingly using a type of fuel that is not often in compliance with required standards. This fuel:
  • Shortens the service life of generators
  • Breaks generators down resulting in high maintenance costs
  • Causes an inappropriate combustion that leads to pollution
In that respect, we are processing fuel and cleaning it from adulterants through a technique known as Fuel Separation, used in September 2009. The cost amounted to $125,000 US dollars.

Fuel Separation allows us to purify and separate adulterants, water and acid in the oil. In order to treat fuel and avoid dysfunctions and pollution, we use two separators.
To our knowledge, no one uses more than one.

Eighth: Emergency Incidents

We have developed a monitoring system to avoid emergency incidents.  Even in the occurrence of any emergency incident or in the case of monitoring, kindly be reminded that paper is made of cellulose pulp, which is natural and safe.
In our manufacturing plants, emergency incidents do not exceed 2%., one of the best ratings.

Consequently, we have decided to launch this environmental impact survey and implement the entailed recommendations, as an extension of the environmental journey we have started long ago and in order to develop an eco-friendly industry with a better exportation strategy.

We seize the opportunity to thank, once again, the Minister of Environment, HE Mr. Mohamed Rahal, the president of the Lebanese Association of Industrialists, Mr. Neemat Frem, and the representative of civil society, Mr. Rabih Salem, the audience, and last but not least, the media.

Made in Lebanon is our motto and source of pride!  Let’s preserve it!
Thank you. 

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