Expansion project of ferroalloys factory of "Alapmet" CJSC Discussed in Charentsavan

Expansion project of ferroalloys factory of "Alapmet" CJSC Discussed in Charentsavan

On August 8, the 4th public hearing of the environmental impact assessment report of the expansion of the ferroalloys factory of "Alapmet" CJSC was held in Charentsavan, Kotayk Region, Armenia.

"Alapmet" CJSC is planned to expand the production of molybdenum oxide from molybdenum concentrate by increasing the current productivity capacity of 2400.0 tons/year to 4800.0 tons/year. The required amount of raw materials is purchased from "Zangezur Copper-Molybdenum Combine" CJSC on the basis of the relevant contract.

In the technological process, inorganic dust, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides are emitted into the atmosphere, which have a negative impact on the environment and human health. The factory is located in Charentsavan, but Alapars, Fantan, and Bjni are also affected settlements.

Armine Vardanyan, Chief Specialist of "Environmental Impact Expert Assessment Center" of  RA Environment Ministry, noted that the planned activity belongs to "A" category. "Sulfur dioxide is represented by an incorrect calculation. According to our expert, it is 142 tons/year, while the report states 111.58 tons/year," Armine Vardanyan noted.

Movses Manukyan, a member of "Healthy Hrazdan" initiative, asked the representatives of the company: "Since you have been working for a year already, indicate whether lime was used and how much sulfur dioxide was emitted. Last year, Environmental Protection Inspection Body did an inspection and found out that none of the technological parameters are maintained at your place. If it was not preserved last year, what guarantee is there that it will be preserved in case of expansion?

Director of "Alapmet" CJSC Armen Melikyan responded to the question. "We have started operating the factory since 2022. They worked for years. It is clear that they did it without preserving the technology. Before us, that company had 540 tons/year of sludge, which was not even utilized."

President of "EcoLur" Informational NGO Inga Zarafyan listed the omissions of the report. "You mention that the risks will be insignificant. However, "A" category project cannot be with small risks. That category already provides that the project carries serious risks and there should be a risk assessment, not to say that those risks do not exist. First of all, of course, there should be a calculation of sulfur oxide emissions, specifying the distance, wind direction, etc. There should be risk reduction measures, clearly what you are going to do. Risks to human health should be assessed and how you reduce these risks."

Armen Melikyan responded: "Sulfur emissions are below the norms, we are confident about it, because no one knows about our technology." Armen Melikyan mentioned that the company uses special technology and has the right not to reveal it.

Inga Zarafyan also mentioned that "Bjni" mineral water is extracted in the region, and the fresh water of Alapars spring is known in Armenia and abroad as "Noy" spring water. However, the report does not mention the impact of the plant on these water basins, which is mandatory.

EcoLur is preparing to submit its comments and proposals to "Environmental Impact Expert Assessment Center" of  RA Environment Ministry.

August 10, 2023 at 13:35