Ensuring sustainable water use and access to clear fresh water is essential for economic growth and welfare. Gränges’ operations are located in areas with different water risks and water consumption is managed based on local circumstances.
Water risks and regulations
Production facilities in Finspång and the US are situated in areas with low to medium risk, while the facility in Shanghai is situated in a medium to high risk area.1) Water use and management for Gränges’ production facility in Shanghai are regulated via permits and by legislation such as “Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law of the People's Republic of China”, “Water Law of the People's Republic of China”, and “Management in Shanghai Drainage Ordinance”.
Water is managed according to local conditions
The production facilities in Shanghai and in the US have closed-loop cooling systems with a high degree of recirculation. These systems reduce water consumption and the risk of water getting contaminated. The production facility in Shanghai uses municipal tap water for both production processes (mainly cooling) and for office buildings. Water from the cooling system is further re-used in other parts of the production process, for example in the cold rolling mill. Water of insufficient quality is later discharged to the local waste water treatment plant. Discharges can only be made within the limits of the local drainage permit, which specifies how much and what kind of water the facility can discharge. In the US, Gränges withdraws ground water from its own wells, which serves to cool in a closed loop system using non-contact cooling towers. Used water is discharged to nearby water bodies without further treatment.
At the production facility in Finspång, surface water is withdrawn from a nearby lake. The plant is situated in an area with low water stress and currently there are no restrictions on water withdrawal. The water is used to cool different components of the production facility. Heated cooling water is released into nearby waterways. Measurements are made daily to ensure that the released water does not contain hazardous substances. Hazardous condensates are treated before being returned to nearby water bodies.
No water sources are considered to be significantly affected by the water withdrawal or discharge from Gränges’ operations.
Measures to improve water management
All coolers in the production facility in Finspång have been replaced and upgraded to coolers with double casing. This reduces the risk of oil and other chemicals entering the cooling water and thereby reaching the nearby recipient.
The control system at the production facility in Shanghai has been updated from conductivity control to ionization control. The new system enables Gränges to reduce the volume of water that must be constantly replaced in the cooling system.
Water use, million m3
1) Based on the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas developed by the World Resources Institute.