The Egyptian Salts and Minerals Company (EMISAL) operates two plants, one for the production of sodium sulphate and the other for production of sodium chloride. EMISAL plants, which are located on the southwest shore of Qarun Lake, extract the salts from the lake, and concentrate it in a number of ponds prior to feeding it to the production plants. The company had concerns about the unexploited resources that resulted from its production activities, and the consequent financial losses. The company also needed assistance in amending its management practices to mitigate the environmental impacts of their processes on the air quality of the area and the water quality of the ponds.
EMISAL contracted Environics to investigate potential alternatives to utilizing the idle resources. This had to be done with special focus on the environmental factors, since EMISAL is located within an environmental protectorate.
Based on field visits and relying on the analyses provided by EMISAL, Environics reviewed the production processes, identified the idle resources, and proposed management alternatives for each resource. The alternatives were assessed based on environmental, technical, legal, and financial aspects. The assessment, therefore, integrated the environmental and economical dimensions in addressing the financial problem of the plants.
A report was prepared that documented all investigations and results, and recommended management alternatives for the resources.