ABCO S. A.

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Project Number: 
DR1039A-01
Expected Consideration Date by the Board: 
12/04/2002
Date Posted: 
11/12/2002
Company: 
ABCO S. A.
Financing Requested: 
Sector: 
General Manufacturing
Location: 
Scope Objective: 
ABCO was established in 1999, to produce Type 1 Portland cement, which is general-purpose cement. The project involves the construction of a plant with a nominal capacity of 390,000 tons per year (tpy) at a new manufacturing facility near the town of Hatillo in the Province of Azua, approximately 98 km southwest of Santo Domingo. The production process will consist of grinding imported clinker with small amounts (5%) of locally produced gypsum. The location of the plant has been selected because the land on which the plant will be installed includes a high quality limestone deposit, should it be feasible to produce clinker in the future. Additionally, the Old Port of Azua is 25 km from the plant, thus facilitating the import of clinker.

Production of cement in a clinker mill involves grinding clinker with additives; and storing and bagging the finished product. The process produces dust that is mostly captured and recycled. The generation of fine particulates is inherent in all stages of the process.

Gases such as nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur oxide (SOx) are formed from the combustion of fuel in the generation of power for the process. In the case of the Project, gas oil and fuel oils will be used as fuel. The SOx emissions are within local standards and modeling will be done to determine that they comply with international standards.

Environmental Review: 
Environmental Compliance: The environmental standards of the cement industry in the Dominican Republic are very similar to those adopted internationally and the company has agreed to comply with World Bank standards where they are more stringent. The company is committed to superior environmental and safety performance of all of its operations and has identified specific equipment whose costs are included in the project. The company has carried out an environmental study that has been submitted to Instituto Nacional de Protecion Nacional from which it has obtained a construction permit. This included (1) an environmental study on potential environmental impacts of the proposed operations, (2) ABCO's environmental permits, and (3) other information which form the basis for this report. IIC has requested additional information on possible pollution control equipment and the results of theoretical modeling of emissions from the electrical generation plant.

Air emissions: The main priority in this industry is to minimize the increase in ambient particulate levels by reducing the mass load, "dust", emitted from (1) the mill, and (2) fugitive emissions from other sources such as crushers and grinders and material handlers The Company has agreed to comply with the World Bank guidelines. In particular, for control of particulate emissions, the plant will be equipped with seven new dust collectors, to be installed at critical points in the process flow to minimize particulate matter emissions, including the clinker unloading areas, the clinker silo, the belt conveyors, the grinding mill, the cement silos, the packing plant and the cement loading bays.

Noise: In the immediate vicinity of the clinker mill and of the power generators the noise level during operation will exceed the World Bank standards. This is normal for such operations. Operators and any person in the immediate vicinity of such equipment will be provided with and required to wear protective earmuffs.

Occupational Health and Safety and emergency response: Safety is important for the Company and all safety matters will be coordinated by an Environmental and Safety Officer, reporting directly to the General manager. Cement production process does not present significant safety issues. The process is highly automated requiring few interventions by operators. In the case of accidents there are control systems to shut down the mill and material handlers. Each operation will have guidelines to be followed for the safe operation of activities performed there. The company is developing operating manuals that include emergency response procedures. All operators will be trained and updated when necessary. The facility will have fire systems and in-house fire brigades. There will also be periodic fire drills and training in the proper operation and use of emergency equipment.

Liquid effluents: Sewage will be treated by a septic tank system. Spent lubricants will be collected and removed in accordance with Dominican laws.

Labor: All employees will comply with Dominican minimum age standards and will not be prevented from the rights of association or collective bargaining. Employees are provided with competitive wages, health insurance and benefits that amply surpass the minimum requirements of Dominican laws

Monitoring: ABCO shall be required to prepare an environmental management plan (EMP) that includes a monitoring program for all of the project facilities as a condition of first disbursement. Key components in the EMP are (1) the schedule for the implementation of all pollution control equipment, and (2) the requirement for annual reporting of environmental performance, accidents and training.