Water is, in terms of quantity, the main resource necessary for Vallourec's production process. This is why the Group is committed to measuring and limiting its "water footprint". This consists of, on the one hand, a reduction in the volume of discharged water. Water withdrawal has been reduced over the last 10 years, going from 9.55 million m3 in 2007 to 5.67 million m3 in 2016. On the other hand, all the factories are committed to ensuring the consistent quality of discharged water.
To do so, most sites that have higher water requirements are equipped with an industrial waste water treatment plant that processes water after its discharge. For other factories, industrial waters are discharged into municipal networks. They are then treated in public waste water treatment plants.
In order to improve the treatment of water used during its processes and the quality of water discharged into nature, and to ensure compliance with DREAL (the French Regional Environmental and Housing Administration) regulations, the Aulnoye-Aymeries site (in France's Nord region) has implemented, with support from Veolia and its OTV subsidiary, specialized in engineering and water treatment technologies, a new high-performance physico-chemical waste water treatment plant. The purpose of this investment is to complete the existing processing facility, which works via decanting and sand filtration.
The project required 20,000 hours of work and involved 15 companies and 55 people. The plant is scheduled to start operations in September 2017 and will be at 100% capacity by the end of December 2017.