Press Metal denies polluting Balingian River

by Conny Banji, Posted on July 16, 2012, Monday

CAREFUL: Two workers check on the cooled billets during casting operation. 

MUKAH: Press Metal Sarawak (PMS) Sdn Bhd has reiterated that its aluminium smelting plant in Mukah-Balingian Road here did not pollute the Balingian River as alleged by individuals on YouTube.

Its Metal Technical and Development manager Dr Siew Eng Fui said the company used advanced technology and dry processes to smelt raw aluminium to turn it into ingots and billets.

“We are committed in safeguarding and sustaining environmental responsibilities in accordance to the Environmental Management Plan approved by Environment Department (DOE).

“The plant is also subjected to a third party audit at every quarter of the year and the measurement results obtained are reported to the department,” he told reporters during the four-day 1Malaysia Media Trip 2012 to Mukah recently.

The trip was organised by the Information Department, and it was participated by about 30 media practitioners, including bloggers.

Dr Siew said the smelting plant was equipped with an advanced gas treatment system that cleaned gases from the aluminium reduction pots before they were released to the environment.

“Our stack emissions are monitored using Continuous Emissions Monitoring System, which is linked online 24 hours day to DOE.”

He said aluminium smelting involved dry processes and water was only used in the plant for cooling in casting operation, sanitary and fire fighting system.

“The cooling water at the casting operation is recycled using cooling towers, and later reused for further casting operation.

“There is no water discharge from the plant.”

As another proof, he said there were an abundant number of fish in three lakes located about 100 metres from the plant. In fact, PMS organised a fishing competition there annually.

PMS is the first primary aluminium smelting plant in the country. It produces two types of aluminium, namely ingot and billet. They are mainly exported to Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Thailand.

Its two smelting plants are in Balingian (in Mukah Division) and Samalaju (in Bintulu).

The Mukah plant has a smelting capacity of 120,000 tonnes per annum, while Samalaju boasts 320,000 tonnes.

Listed on the main board of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, PMS recorded RM2.3 billion in turnover last year.

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