Celluloses use over 38 billion litres of water from Mondego each year

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 27-01-2020 14:27:00 · 0 Comments

The two cellulose companies in Figueira da Foz, Coimbra, consume over 38 billion litres of Mondego River water annually, for which they pay the state almost €1.4 million.

The largest consumer of public water from the Mondego is the Navigator paper mill, which has an annual consumption exceeding 28.3 million cubic metres (m3), according to data provided to Lusa by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action (MAAC).

Navigator pays a water resources tax to the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) of around €679,000 and Celbi almost €30,000.

When asked about this apparent discrepancy between consumption and the tax paid, an official source from the Ministry of the Environment to the legislation in force, recalling that the Water Resources Tax (TRH) comprises six different components, the sum of which stipulates the final value, but did not clarify the value of the specific components applied to each company.

The six components of the TRH are, in the public water domain of the State, the use of water by volume of water captured, extraction of aggregates by m3 extracted and occupation by a square metre of the occupied area. In addition to that, the discharge of effluents (per kilo of oxidable matter, nitrogen and phosphorus), the use of waters subject to planning and public management (per m3 captured) and the sustainability of urban water services.

In addition to the two celluloses, the Mondego adduction system also supplies EDP's combined cycle power station at Lares (which consumes around 83,000 m3 and pays €29,000) and Figueira da Foz's water supply, which draws 2.6 million cubic metres (11 times less than Navigator) from it every year, for which it pays around €126,000 from TRH, twice the price paid by the paper mill, considering only and in proportion to the volume of water collected.

João Damasceno, general director of Águas da Figueira, explained to Lusa that the volume of water collected by the concessionaire in the Mondego varies according to the time of year, representing about 40% of the supply in winter and 60% in summer (half of the total water consumed in the municipality during 12 months) and that the rest comes from underground water collection.


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