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07.28.2008

Befesa opens the new production facilities of Befesa Zinc Aser in Erandio (Vizcaya)

Vizcaya, July 28th 2008.- Esther Larrañaga Galdos, Environment and Territorial Planning Councillor of the Basque government today opened the new production facilities of Befesa Zinc Aser in Erandio, Vizcaya, which will also be the new corporate headquarters of Befesa Medio Ambiente.

The councillor was shown around the new facilities with Begoña Iriarte Trabudua, head of the Directorate of Environmental Quality of the Department of the Environment; Mikel Arieta-Araunabeña, Mayor of Erandio; Javier Molina, Chairman of Befesa and Asier Zarraonandia, Chief Executive Officer of Befesa’s Steel and Galvanisation Waste Recycling business unit.

Befesa Zinc Aser specialises in recovering and recycling steel and galvanisation waste. At its plant in Erandio, the only plant of its kind in Spain, it recycles dust generated by steelmakers that use electric arc furnaces, subsequently recovering the zinc and lead that it contains. In practice, a pyrometallurgy process is used, known as the Waelz Process, and a hydrometallurgy process, or a Double Leaching Waelz Oxide process is employed, both of which are considered to be best available technologies as defined in the Reference Document on Best Available Technologies for Non-Ferrous Metallurgy drafted at the request of the European Commission.

These procedures prevent the contamination that comes from discarding steel dust and furthermore, supports an inexhaustible source of particles and metals compared to mining extraction, slowing down the rate that we use the planet’s resources.

The new production facilitates form part of the modernisation and improvement plan for the plant that began in 2004 and has involved an investment of €35 million. Among other changes, the project includes a new Waelz furnace with an extraction and slags transport system, a new gas purification system with active carbon injection, and the substitution of the drying oven for a new D-L.W.O.® infrared drying system.

Befesa Medio Ambiente

Furthermore, following the sale at the start of the year of the land that the company owned in Barakaldo, Befesa Medio Ambiente has also relocated its corporate headquarters to this site. Befesa’s business has always been closely linked to the Basque Country, where it has an aluminium waste recycling plant, two steel and galvanisation waste recycling plants, a sulphuric acid and oleum production plant and an industrial cleaning office.

The new office building has a usable floor area of more than 460 square meters distributed across two floors. In addition to being the company’s new corporate headquarters the building will house the corporate services of the steel and galvanisation waste recycling business unit.

Last November, councillor Esther Larrañaga opened the waste transfer centre that the company has in Deba, Guipúzcoa, accompanied by the Mayor of Deba, Jesús María Aguirre Zabala; Befesa Chairman, Javier Molina, and the General Manager of the Industrial Waste Management business unit, Santiago Ortiz.

The principal activity of the Deba centre is to manage hazardous wastes that it receives where they are classified, prepared and temporarily stored until they are sent to a final waste manager in the Basque Country or to other Befesa centres.

Befesa, the environmental services subsidiary of Abengoa, focuses on providing industrial environmental services and constructing environmental infrastructures. It is a public listed company with a market capitalisation in excess of €550 million (close 2007). (www.befesa.es)