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Polluting phosphogypsum production units to be dismantled

Published the:  30/06/2017

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(TAP) – An inner Cabinet meeting chaired by The President of the Government Youssef Chahed discussed the issue of elimination of marine pollution caused by the discharge of phosphogypsum to the sea in Gabes.

The meeting has set a timetable for definitively ending this phenomenon and re-organising the current landfill at Chatt Essalem.

According to a statement issued Friday by the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Renewable Energies, the Cabinet reiterated the commitment of the national unity government to stop the discharge of phosphogypsum, through the dismantling of polluting units emitting phosphogypsum and the creation of new industrial units respecting national and international standards in the field of environmental safety.

These units will be located within the governorate of Gabes, on a site to be defined, while respecting the requirements relating to the remoteness of agglomerations and the sheltering of the water table, as well as the respect of the environmental imperatives.

The stages concern, in particular, the geological and social studies of the various possible sites to house these units, based on a participatory approach for a period of 6 months that will end on December 31, 2017.

Technical and environmental studies as well as the preparation of bidding documents and the signing of the execution agreements will continue over a period of 2 years.

Similarly, the completion of each pilot plant and its entry into service, which will gradually stop the discharge of phosphogypsum into the sea, will require a period of 2 years.

The ministry's statement added that the government has decided to implement the principle of social and economic responsibility for the region that will house the new units and the storage site, in addition to the development of an industrial zone close to the chosen site which will specialise in the phosphogypsum upgrading and processing industries.

A national steering committee will be created within The Presidency of the Government. It will bring together all the stakeholders in charge of orientation and monitoring of the provisions aiming to accelerate the implementation and the respect of the deadlines.