ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
With the principle of “producing maximum energy with minimum resources,” Aksa Energy runs its operations in an environmentally-conscious manner for a sustainable future and aims to continuously improve its sustainability performance. Aksa Energy leads the sector not only through its exemplary efforts to minimize the environmental effects of energy generation operations, but also through environmental management practices that cover every step of the value chain.
Aksa Energy has adopted an environmental policy to ensure that this understanding is institutionalized and embraced by all stakeholders. The Environmental Policy of Aksa Energy is based on four main pillars: climate change, natural resource management, waste management and conservation of biodiversity.
Aksa Energy’s Environmental Policy ensures regularly reporting, monitoring, and communication of the Company’s performance towards its sustainability goals, based on efficiency, transparency, stakeholder engagement, and cooperation. While carrying out the business activities, Aksa Energy takes great care to use natural resources efficiently, reduce greenhouse gas and air emissions, minimize waste generation, and preserve biodiversity.
Establishing a Framework Environmental Management System in order to determine the objectives and targets related to the Environmental Policy, and to manage, monitor and control the activities in accordance with this policy, the Company holds the following certifications: ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, ISO 9001 Quality Management System, ISO 50001 Energy Management System, ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Information Security Management System* and OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System. In addition to the headquarters, Bolu Goynuk Thermal Power Plant and Sanliurfa Natural Gas Combined.
One of the most significant areas of environmental impact within energy generation is air emissions. Aksa Energy regularly monitors and measures the effect of its operations on air quality and ensures that its emissions fall within the legally prescribed limits. The Company makes necessary technological and capital investments to eliminate any adverse impact of the air emissions on the environment and human health. With the continuous emission monitoring systems built in its plants, Aksa Energy instantly tracks emissions and makes sure air emissions from domestic plants are monitored online by the Turkish Republic Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.
To this end, Aksa Energy established a flue gas treatment system – the first of its kind in Turkey – at Bolu Göynük Thermal Power Plant. Thanks to this system, the power plant reached the legal emission target set by the EU for the year 2018 in 2015. In addition, Bolu Göynük Thermal Power Plant’s NOx emission volume has been reduced to a low level by using fluidized bed combustion technology with limestone injection. Similarly, the gas turbines with ultra-low NOx emission combustion systems at Ali Metin Kazancı Antalya Natural Gas Combined Cycle Power Plant and the flue gas treatment system to reduce SOx emissions at Northern Cyprus Kalecik Fuel Oil Power Plant are critical for reducing air emissions.
Air Emissions (kg)
* Indicates the amount in NO2.
** The decrease in the number of stop/startups at Aksa Energy plants effectively reduced air emissions in 2019.
Waste management is one of the most important components of Aksa Energy’s environmental sustainability approach. The Company conducts research studies to reduce the amount of waste and boost business process efficiency in order to achieve a higher performance level each year. Efforts are expended to improve business processes, reduce resource consumption, and decrease waste generation by using innovative technologies and resources effectively.
Aksa Energy actively works to reduce wastes generated by its power plants at the source and minimize hazardous waste. The Company disposes of wastes in compliance with environmental legislation. Waste oils, contaminated packaging and clothing, suction filters, sludge in oil/water separators and scrap materials are sent to licensed waste disposal companies. Similarly, scraps, sludges, greasy clothing and contaminated and greasy wastes are also disposed of in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. Aksa Energy had 37,000 tons of hazardous waste recycled in 2019.
Aksa Energy strives to enhance its waste management performance every year with efforts to generate less waste, reduce resource use and boost processes efficiency.
* The increase in the amount of Recycled Non-Hazardous Waste in 2019 mostly comes from the recycling of scrap material remaining from the construction phase at the Ghana Heavy Fuel Oil Power Plant site.
WATER AND WASTE WATER MANAGEMENT
Global water consumption is steadily increasing today, putting severe pressure on the world’s water resources. Against this backdrop, Aksa Energy aims to minimize water consumption in all its business operations and processes. The Company ensures that wastewater from its operations is analyzed by accredited laboratories and discharged pursuant to the Water Pollution Control Regulation.
In 2019, the amount of groundwater used in Aksa Energy’s operations dropped to zero, while its municipal water consumption decreased by 59%. Furthermore, the amount of water recycled increased more than 3.5 times compared to the previous year.
In 2019, decarbonization facilities installed at the power plants helped to save 272.000 m3 of water at Ali Metin Kazancı Antalya Natural Gas Combined Cycle Power Plant and over 1.8 million m3 of water at Bolu Göynük Thermal Power Plant.
Additionally, Bolu Goynuk Thermal Power Plant employs a reverse osmosis technology to collect wastewater in a different pool and reuse it for ash humidification. Moreover, Aks Energy created Çatak Pond with a TRY 17.5 million investment to meet the power plant’s water requirement. The regional community also benefit from this water resource.
At Şanlıurfa Natural Gas Combined Cycle Power Plant, water treated by the reverse osmosis method is recycled and reused in the cooling towers. As a result, Aksa Energy has recycled 12% of the total water consumed and achieved 78,000 m3 of total water savings since 2013.
The seawater desalination system installed at Northern Cyprus Kalecik Heavy Fuel Oil Power Plant meets 100% of the facility’s water requirements. Modification of the purifier tank system for seawater treatment, which was established in 2019, improved the efficiency of internal consumption by commissioning a pump that consumes 37 kW per hour, down from 200 kW per hour with the previous pump. With this effort, Aksa Energy decreased its internal water consumption demand by 10%. The Company also employs Evaporator Treatment System to purify wastewater by evaporating and condensing it for natural gas closed-cycle systems and internal needs.
The Company has executed a variety of water conservation projects at its power plants in Africa where water resources are extremely limited. Waste water generated by the water softening unit at Ghana Heavy Fuel Oil Power Plant is used in the facility’s grounds irrigation system.
Aksa Energy places great importance on monitoring and protecting the natural life and biodiversity of the regions where it operates. The Company actively supports projects that protect and enhance natural habitats, with a view toward monitoring the environmental impact of its business operations and mitigating negative impacts. In line with this perspective, Aksa Energy initiated partnership with the Nature Conversation Association of Turkey (TTKD) to preserve biodiversity since 2015.Within the scope of this collaboration, the 12,000-decares area has been registered as a Natural Monument by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Hassa district of Hatay province.
Aksa Energy first sponsored a Conversation Project for Hatay Mountain Gazelles to support conservation of the mountain gazelles and their habitats in Turkey. On World Environment Day, a special Mountain Gazelle Observation Event was organized as part of this project. Students selected from the region's rural schools had the chance to observe mountain gazelles on the land where the gazelle observation tower was constructed.
In 2016 and 2017, Aksa Energy supported a project to study striped hyenas (hyaena hyaena), an endangered species residing nearby Gölbaşı Village in Kırıkhan, Hatay. As part of the project, local residents were interviewed and photo traps were placed in the region to assess the current status of striped hyenas and collect information about their natural habitats and ecology. During these efforts, the rock gerbil (gerbillus dasyurus), which had not been observed for 22 years in the region and was thought to be extinct, was also encountered.
The report titled “Preliminary Study on the Striped Hyena’s Spread and Habitat in the Hassa – Reyhanlı Region” was published upon completion of these efforts. The report pointed to the need for meticulous protection of the local habitats which are rich in local mammals. The study results were published in regional and national media, thereby broadening awareness on the rich biological diversity of the area.
Acting in cooperation with the Turkish Association for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (TTKD), a project was conducted in 2018 to determine the presence of red deer (Cervus Elaphus), a species symbolizing biodiversity, around Yedigöller National Park, and their ecology. Protection of red deer, which is listed in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and whose population is gradually decreasing, is of vital importance for biodiversity.
In 2019, Aksa Energy initiated activities in Bolu for the conservation of the Brown bear (Ursus arctos), the biggest predator and the only bear species living in Turkey. This initiative aims to preserve biodiversity in the region and seeks to identify the threatening factors in the geographic areas that the species inhabits while establishing protection measures in the yedigöller region of Bolu province. In addition, the Project aims to raise awareness of the public on the plight of the species. As part of protection efforts, informational signage is planned to be placed in strategically important areas. These key areas include where road networks are located, tourism activities are conducted and where ecological bridge passages have been identified. Additionally, measures taken to protect the species were reported to the Bolu Branch of the Nature Conservation and National Parks.
Taking an active role to protect biodiversity and adopting a responsible production approach, Aksa Energy plans to conduct efforts in 2020 in Bolu province, one of its areas of operation, to protect the bobcat (Lynx lynx), identify factors that threaten the species and set forth protection recommendations.
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