Mo i Rana downtown, With the sculpture "Man of the Sea" in front, and Mo Industrial Park on the hill.

Good neighbours crucial to future industry

16 desember, 2015 14:11

EDITORIAL, by CEO Arve Ulriksen, Mo Industripark AS

 

A number of letters to the local media recently have led to a debate on airborne emissions from industry affecting buildings in Mo i Rana. This is an important and proper debate, and in our view the objective is to develop the best possible local community.

As far as we are concerned, at the industrial park, the bottom line is that we have to actively promote neighbourly relations between the town and industry. The fact that industry and the town are situated so close to one another presents a challenge to both parties and is a consequence of decisions made during the construction of Norsk Jernverk and Mo i Rana almost 70 years ago.

We face local challenges involving dust, for example, and we also face major national and global challenges associated with energy consumption and emissions. Our industry is one of the best in the world in this respect, With low emissions, energy-efficient operation and extensive recycling. From a global perspective, therefore, it is extremely important to ensure that the kind of mainland industry that we have can develop and continue to operate in local communities of the kind we have in Nordland; in Rana, Vefsn, Glomfjord and Straumen in Sørfold.

 

The challenge – viewed from a general perspective

We have recently undergone a major strategic process at Mo Industripark AS. As a result of thorough analyses, we have found that there are two areas in particular that from a strategic standpoint must trigger extraordinary efforts in politics and industry/business. First of all, the world appears now to be very close to a considerable technological paradigm shift, which will result in many changes in future, particularly in the energy sector, both in Norway and throughout the rest of the world.

Secondly, the world is currently consuming resources at an unsustainable level, and manmade climate gas emissions are promoting climate change.

So how will this affect us as a nation, and at a local level in Mo i Rana? What threats and opportunities will this involve?

Drops in the price of oil and the prices of iron, copper and other metals have already led to major changes, even in Norway. Investments in the oil sector have been massively reduced, and in Kirkenes Sydvaranger Gruve has gone bankrupt, affecting up to 1500 people directly and indirectly.

The EU has recently set itself bold environmental targets that will spill over into Norwegian politics and Norwegian industry and business. This also makes demands of us here in Norway, and in respect of the competitive situation for Norwegian industry.

In this situation, we face the clear challenge of being able to make sensible political and industrial decisions that will not impose unnecessarily great burdens on private households, municipalities, industry and business.

One thing is certain: we have to be alert to the changes that are happening, and we have to have the will and ability to actively get involved in the changes needed in order to guarantee continued value creation and employment in a future-oriented industry.

 

Project Sustainability

Our ambition: We will be a world-leading industrial cluster in respect of the environment and energy efficiency.

With this, we mean that Mo Industrial Park will be renowned for its environmental awareness, and in this regard we will emphasise our unique advantages;

–  Renewable power, secure access to energy, energy recovery and waste recycling

–  The biggest scrap steel recycling environment in the Nordic region

–  Environmentally safe disposal, reuse of water and materials

We will be one of the world’s leading industrial parks in terms of energy efficiency and emissions to the environment, and this will be indicated by focusing on established research and improvement projects. If we are to succeed in achieving our ambition, linking activities closely to knowledge and “Best Available Technology” (BAT) will be a key factor.

We work within three fields in our strategy; energy streamlining, recirculation and recycling, and emissions. This is a consequence of the analysis work we have carried out, and we are of the opinion that this requires us here at MIP AS to work in cooperation with the other companies on the industrial park and actively carry on working with recycling and environmental initiatives – and to continue developing these through R&D projects and continuous improvement work.

In other words, we want to elevate this initiative to a stronger, more extensive level. We are calling this Project MIP Sustainability. MIP Sustainability is a form of systematisation and coordination of the extensive recycling initiative that has been in place at Mo Industrial Park for many years. Sintef Nord has been engaged to coordinate and manage the project.

We are working in partnership with Sintef, Gaia, the Nordland Research Institute and the Industrial Business Development Centre at the University of Nordland, Rana Utviklingsselskap, Kunnskapsparken Helgeland and Inkubator Helgeland.

MIP AS has already established a series of projects by financing pilot projects itself, by taking part in established research projects and by submitting applications to organisations such as the Research Council of Norway, Enova, EU programmes and Innovation Norge for a number of specific projects.

As regards emissions, we are working on a project relating to internal transport at Mo Industrial Park in order to make the switch from diesel to hydrogen if possible. Staff at Rana Gruber are taking part in a major research project known as “Nykos”, which will mean new knowledge about sea landfills.

We are also working to establish “Project ITIV”, which involves reducing emissions to air. For the time being, we have begun a thorough survey and analysis of sources of dust emissions and dustfall.

 

MIP Sustainability – three phases

MIP Sustainability will continue over a period of four to five years. In the first phase, which has already commenced, we will be establishing 10 to 20 pilot studies and pilot projects and we will have established partnerships with R&D stakeholders who can run these.

In phase 2, three to five development projects will be selected, and of these one or two must be transboundary projects. We will also have established a project relating to pilot plants for the reuse of surplus soil.

In the third and final phase, our aim is to have achieved specific results in the form of one to two new industrial establishments and to have initiated an established, EU-financed research environment at Mo Industrial Park.

On the basis of our analysis, we are of the opinion that it is both correct and necessary to be proactive when it comes to emissions, energy efficiency and recycling. We have to be capable of perceiving global, national and regional objectives in context with local objectives, and this has to be a comprehensive, long-term approach and commitment.

As mentioned, the bottom line is that we have to actively promote neighbourly relations between the town and industry. If we are to achieve credibility both nationally and internationally as a world-leading industrial cluster in the field of energy efficiency and the environment, we also have to have the trust of the people local to us. These are two sides of the same coin.

With the local population behind us, people who are proud of their green industry, we will also have several tens of thousands of ambassadors who will help us with our efforts to advance the development of the industrial town of Mo i Rana, and helping us to continue to provide the financial basis for a good, secure town for them to live in, with secure employment and positive, challenging job opportunities.

To succeed in our ambition as a green industrial park, this means we also have to work actively to promote Mo i Rana as a green industrial town.