US manufacturer works with energy firm to cut water by 20m litres per day

Nutrient producer Mosaic Company has made significant progress in its water conservation efforts during the past 12 months, with its main fertilizer production facility now operating on more than 90% recycled water.

The company, the world’s largest miner and producer of phosphate and potash crop, has put measures in place at its Florida phosphate manufacturing site that have effectively halved groundwater use over the past 20 years.

In addition, Mosaic’s potash shaft factory sources around 80% of its water requirements through recycling and reuse, while reclaimed water is delivered to one of its mines as a supplemental water supply to further reduce the need for groundwater.

Water recycling and reuse rates across Mosaic’s three core business units are currently as follows: potash 87%; phosphates (concentrates) 95%; phosphates (minerals) 94%. These figures are based on total water used by facility, less water withdrawals.

The company is continuing to work on reducing its water footprint and is now working with other local businesses on responsible water use. It recently partnered with electric and gas firm Duke Energy to eliminate up to 20.7 million litres per day of groundwater withdrawal in Polk County, Florida.

Mosaic is also on track to outperform its greenhouse gas reduction goals – its stated targets were to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 10% and greenhouse gas intensity by 5% by 2015 within its North American phosphate operations, from 2005 levels.

According to the company’s fifth annual sustainability report, it has so far reduced annual absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 21% (excluding ammonia), and decreased emissions intensity by more than 15%.

Commenting on the results, Mosaic CEO Jim Prokopanko said the company was proud of its efforts in the areas of water conservation and in the use of alternative energy sources.

“Since 2008, we have improved our total energy consumed per tonne of finished product by over 10%. A portion of that savings is due to clean electrical cogeneration from the recovery of waste heat in our operations,” he said.

“In 2013, we produced enough electricity through cogeneration to satisfy 44% of our company-wide electrical demand. We used more than 1 million gigajoules of this emission-free cogenerated electricity in our mines.”

Maxine Perella

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