Egypt Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy announced at a recent press conference in Cairo that Egypt had succeeded in getting rid of a shipment of 241tons of high-risk waste after it had lain at Adabiya port in Suez for some 20 years. The cargo included the pesticide lindane, listed by the Stockholm Convention as POP (Persistent Organic Pollutants), contaminants that persist in the environment for very long periods that extend throughout decades, without dissolving or decomposing. Egypt was among the first countries to sign the Stockholm Convention on the elimination of dangerous contaminants that threaten human health and damage the environment.
The Environment Minister said that the Ministry had launched an international tender for the safe disposal of the lindane cargo. The tender was won by a Greek company specialised in the transfer of high-risk pollutants.
The waste was transferred from Adabiya port to Alexandria, from which it was shipped to France to burn in special incinerators. In Alexandria, the hazardous waste was re-packaged and in new containers, in accordance to the highest international and UN safety standards, Mr Fahmy explained. It was then transferred in the MSC Laura to France. The old containers were also moved outside Egypt.
In 1998, containers of lindane arrived at the port of Adabiya in Suez Governorate through a company that was later found to be a fake. The containers were abandoned in the transit area of the port.
Located on the western side of Gulf of Suez, the port of Adabiya, 17 km from the city of Suez and 125 km east of Cairo, receives cargo ships that unload goods to be temporarily stored in a transit area before being re-transported.
The transfer of the lindane shipment to France has been carried out in accordance with the requirements and procedures of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. The convention requires the exporter to obtain transit permits from the countries through which the shipment will pass (including the waters of the countries on the Mediterranean Sea), and the final destination, before starting the shipment. The Greek company received all the necessary permits before embarking on the transport.
27 August 2017