July 23, 2018
Lepanto aims to be the first PCB-free mining company in Southeast Asia
Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company is set to be free of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) by the end of 2018, the first mining company in Southeast Asia to have that distinction. Lepanto commissioned Seanogy Environmental Solutions, Inc., the only PCB solutions provider in the Philippines, to eliminate all PCBs on-site pursuant to DENR Administrative Order 2004-001 and its supporting rules and regulations.
Being good insulators, PCBs are widely used as coolants and lubricants in electrical equipment like transformers. They can leak or spill out of such electrical equipment and contaminate the air, soil or water and cause health problems. Thus the need for PCB elimination and proper PCB storage and disposal.
Seanogy has been using a Decontamination Mobile Unit (DMU) to decontaminate 24 transformers at the Lepanto minesite in Mankayan, Benguet. The DMU uses the Continuous Closed-loop Dehalogenation technology to reduce PCB to negligible levels, or lower than the DENR threshold of 2 ppm. This technology, the first in Southeast Asia, regenerates the mineral insulating oil to extend the life of the transformers.
The DENR requires transformers with PCB concentrations of 10,000 ppm and beyond to be transported offsite for proper treatment and disposal. About 2.5 metric tons of PCB wastes have been transported out of Lepanto to a DENR-registered storage facility in Bulacan for shipment to France where they will be treated prior to disposal. Only one transformer unit and 15 capacitors are due for transport to Bulacan within the year.
“We are proud to be the first PCB-free mining company in Southeast Asia as well as the first mining company in the Philippines to operate an engineered sanitary landfill, consistent with our vision of becoming a corporate model in the fulfilment of social responsibilities”, LCMC Vice President and Resident Manager Engr. Tom Consolacion remarked.