Temporary storage for saltwater approved – K+S production becomes more resistant to drought

K+S has once again significantly increased the flexibility in wastewater management at the Werra plant. The operation of a facility for the temporary storage of production wastewater in an abandoned mining field, which has now been permitted by the Kassel Regional Council, increases the total available storage volume alone to about 1 mill. m3. “The new temporary storage facility at the Wintershall mine enables us to react even more flexibly to the Werra's water conditions and sustain longer periods of drought.

In addition to the use of saltwater for flooding abandoned mines and gas caverns in northern Germany, we have actively promoted the expansion of above-ground storage basins. With the combination of these measures and the new temporary storage facility, we have made significant progress towards our goal of safeguarding production at the Werra plant even in unfavorable weather conditions,“ says Dr. Burkhard Lohr, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of K+S. The temporary storage facility has a capacity of around 400,000 m3 and is in the northern part of the Hattorf/Wintershall mine at a depth of around 700 m. There, in the first bed of a former mining area of approx. 5 km2 the temporary storage of highly mineralized process wastewater was established. For this purpose, a downpipe was installed in the Grimberg shaft (Heringen) and a pipeline with a total length of 12 km was installed inside the mine. The temporary storage facility will be emptied through the 2nd level and the injection pipeline will be used in the opposite direction. The discharge into the Werra will then take place in accordance with the approved limits using the existing infrastructure at the Wintershall site. The permission procedure as well as the planning and construction of the facility during ongoing mining operations took about a year. A total of five different special operating plans and partial permits were required for the individual project components. The present permission finally governs the operation of the facility. (Press Release, August 13, 2019)