Keywords: Environmentally friendly fertiliser production, Nitrogen fertiliser plant design.
CONCLUSIONS: The main topics I have treated were the emissions to water and to air. I hope that I have been able to demonstrate that it is possible to keep the environmental impact of a nitrogen fertiliser plant under reasonable control by reducing these emissions to levels which respect the most stringent prevailing limitations. It would not be right, however, to consider this conclusion as a general one, knowing that the environmental impact of a fertiliser plant cannot be reduced to that of a specialised straight nitrogen fertiliser plant. Neither should the environmental aspects be limited to air and water emissions.
Indeed, soil pollution, thermal pollution, chemical wastes and acoustical pollution are also important aspects which must be taken into account because of their impact on the environment. Compound production and NPK fertiliser plants have their own specific problems which may be more difficult to handle.
It has also been easy to present a good example of what is achievable, disregarding economics and competition aspects, but I cannot refrain from speaking about the unfair and, to some extent, unacceptable consequences. There is no doubt that, especially during the last decades, the fertiliser industry of the industrialised countries has been pro-active in trying to reach and maintain better and better control of the environmental issues, together with the issues related to health, safety and reliability.
There is no doubt that this due evolution increases the costs of research and development, as well as the investment required for the production of fertilisers.
Equally there is no doubt that, in a world-wide open fertiliser market, when the same or equivalent rules and ethics are not applied in every country, this introduces a surreptitious and unfair competition element, so that the best may be finally penalised just because of it.
Governments, Common Market authorities and international bodies should become aware of this problem and adopt attitudes and take the necessary action to sustain the fertiliser industry, thus recognising its importance and its contribution to the employment and well-being of the nations.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, the fertiliser industry is passing through a period of structural and marketing problems growing every day, and it is thus difficult, in this generally depressed atmosphere, to find reasons for being optimistic, at least in the short term. However I believe that we must still be confident in a better future and cope with the difficulties, realising that our industry owns a tremendous capital in human, managerial, scientific and technical resources.
It is up to us to exploit all of them!
V Bizzotto, Hydro Agri Europe.
16 pages, 3 figures, 2 tables, 2 references.