As soon as the latest grant from the Netherlands is made available, work on the Combined Effluent Treatment Plant should be completed within a short space of time. Gulzar Firoz, chairman of Pakistan Tanners’ Association [PTA] South Zone Environment Society, told Leather International that around 90% of the civil works have already been completed, 85% of the mechanical work, and 60% of the electrics.

With the availability of a new grant of about 20 million rupees from the Dutch government, the PTA (South Zone) Effluent Society will be able to start construction of a conveyance system to bring the domestic sewage from the pumping station belonging to Karachi Water & Sewerage, which is located within the Karachi Industrial Area, to the effluent plant. The Dutch grant of Rs20 million is in addition to their earlier grant of Rs20 million which was in the form of consultancy charges born by their government.

The PTA (SZ) Environmental Society is implementing a Cleaner Technology Programme (CTOP) for Korangi tanneries which includes:

* Environmental audits

* Preparation of Environment Management Systems (EMS)

* Preparation of CP Design

* Initiation of CP Design within the tanneries

All investment for this component is required to be made by the tanners and the project will only provide advisory services.

The Effluent Society has decided in favour of installation of Chromium Recovery and Reuse Plants (CRRP) within tanneries to control the chromium content in the effluent. The project envisages construction of CRRPs for all large and medium size tanneries. Implementation of this component is already in progress and a couple of tanneries in the area have already installed CRRP while a few have begun construction.

To make the tannery zone cleaner and improve working conditions within the area, the project has undertaken Solid Waste Management (SWM) as another of its components. A total of 19 specially designed RCC waste bins have been constructed by the project in Sector 7-A of the Korangi Industrial Area. The project vehicles dispose of around 500 to 800 million tons of solid waste each month from the tannery zone. The removal of the sludge deposited in the existing storm water drain is also part of this component.

The plant will have the capacity to treat a total of 43,000m3 per day of wastewater, including 16,500m3 of tannery wastewater and 26,500m3 of domestic wastewater which will be recycled for use in tanneries. The plant is spread over 15 acres of land and would cater to the needs of about 170 tanneries.

The plant is based on Up-flow Anaerobic Sludge Bank (UASB) technology, which has the lowest operational and maintenance cost. On successful completion the plant will meet the requirements of National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS).

The total cost of this effluent plant project is Rs492 million out of which contributions are:

1) Export Promotion Bureau: Rs227.85 million already paid, Rs106.5 still to come, making a total of Rs334.35 million

2) Government of Sindh: Rs22 million in the shape of cost of the land for the project

3) PTA: Total Rs96 million; Rs66 million already paid and Rs30 million to come

4) Grant from the Netherlands: Rs20 million in the shape of consultancy charges and Rs20 million cash grant paid to the PTA

Sialkot anti pollution project

PTA’s branch at Sialkot has also embarked on implementing anti-pollution measures to reduce contamination from the tanneries. Sialkot is the hub of glove manufacturing. Pakistan Glove Manufacturers’ & Exporters’ Association (PGMEA) is cooperating with the PTA and the Export Promotion Bureau to set up a Leather Production Development Institute (LPDI) and Cleaner Production Centre (CPC) in Sialkot.

The (CPC) would be set up by the Export Promotion Bureau of the Government of Pakistan, with the financial and technical support of Norway. Major achievements by the CPC project include setting up of a chrome recovery plant, and analytical testing laboratory, introducing solid waste disposal system and introduction and implementation of ‘cleaner production techniques’ in the city.