Protection of the sea and coasts
Our production facility is in a coastal location and both the incoming crude and our products are carried by sea.
So it is only natural, as well as being our duty, to protect the environment that hosts us.
Protection of the sea is implemented with a three-pronged approach:
prevention, control and constant monitoring.
The sea area fronting the refinery is monitored by carrying out detailed chemical and physical analyses of seawater samples taken at different depths
to check the environmental parameters of the waters.
At the plant’s chemical laboratory, equipped with highly sophisticated technologies, marine biologists perform regular samplings and tests.
Several public bodies, from the Harbourmaster’s Office to the Ministry of the Environment, verify the accuracy of these readings.
The results of seawater tests in the four-year period 2014-2017 are all in the upper range of the scale,
showing high seawater quality.
To assess the trophic state of the seawaters, a new parameter – specific to the seas surrounding Sardinia – has also been used: CAM (seawater classification) index based on specific algorithms for the different sea areas.
CAM index values for the sea surrounding Sarroch consistently show high quality of the seawater.
The marine economy is very important to Sardinia: the port of Cagliari is the third-ranking in Italy in terms of tonnes of cargo handled.
The Sarlux marine terminal, where an average of 900 ships a year dock, is a major contributor to this result.
For several years now, we have implemented a strict selection and control policy on the characteristics of all the crude and refined product tankers docking at our terminal.
In order to be admitted to the marine terminal, all incoming tankers must comply with stringent safety standards that conform to internationally recognised criteria and to additional requirements laid down over time by our Group.
Our policy is to screen each ship’s characteristics and history, to obtain a detailed ship “profile”. In addition, ships bound for our facility are carefully checked by specialist companies at the port of departure before sailing.
Since 2014, all ships docking at the Sarlux jetty must have a double keel, whether they carry crude or refined products (gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuels).
This requirement was introduced well ahead of the deadlines established by European regulations for the phasing-out of single-hull ships, in order to prevent any spillages and avoid contamination of the sea.
Advanced control systems ensure the highest safety of all crude unloading and product loading operations; the tankers are boarded by independent qualified inspectors who check compliance with all the safety and marine environment protection requirements.
Percentage of ships checked out of the total number of ships that dock at the terminal
The reference standards for the checks are the Minimum Safety Criteria adopted in accordance with the ship inspection protocols established by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), an organisation that promotes the safe and environmentally responsible operation of oil tankers, terminals and offshore support vessels.
The marine terminal control room, fully refurbished and upgraded with the latest monitoring technology, is manned and operational 24 hours a day.
The control room is in constant radio contact with the tankers at the terminal,
ensuring that all operations comply fully with safety and environmental protection requirements.
The refinery also has a spill response system in place round the clock, comprising staff and vessels, guaranteeing rapid response in the event of product spillages, in accordance with the Internal Emergency Plan, which also includes the Marine Pollution Prevention Plan.
Since the year 2000, on the request of environmental NGO Legambiente, our Group has only chartered ships not passing through the Strait of Bonifacio, in northern Sardinia, to strengthen protection of the precious marine environment.
Sarlux provides at no charge bilge water disposal services to the tankers docking at its marine terminal and to the ships that send their bilge water from all Sardinian ports in tanker trucks.
Water is a precious resource for our refinery.
Our policy has long been to reduce our dependence on water from mains supply, to limit our use of the local freshwater resources.
At the Sarroch site, water is mainly used to produce steam for our processes (steam stripping, heat exchangers and power generation),
to supply the fire prevention system, to replace cooling cycle losses and for civil use.
Water use is constantly monitored to optimise consumption. This includes increasing water recycling and desalination.
Currently, desalinated and recycled water covers 58.5% of our freshwater use.
In the past year Sarlux saved 295 million litres of water,
equal to the annual water consumption of 3,300 people*
(*) Based on daily per capita water consumption of 245 litres. Source: Istat, 2017
This is a major step forward in our drive for environmental sustainability, but to do even better we are making more investments to maximise water recovery from treatment plants.
In 2017 Sarlux started to construct the largest desalination plant in the Mediterranean.
Our desalination project was awarded the “Distinction Award” in the 2018 Global Water Intelligence Awards, which recognise and reward the best initiatives in the water,
wastewater and desalination sectors featuring innovative technology and sustainable financial models.
The desalination plant has a daily production capacity of 12,000 m3 of distilled water, using continuous ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis and electrodeionization processes, without the use of chemicals.
The current seawater desalination plants at Sarlux – constructed in the 1990s – still produce 7,200 m3/day of treated water.