KBC was engaged as an adviser to help rationalise the overall design of a greenfield refinery announced by a Mexican refiner. The scope of work also included procedures to assess the overall regulatory framework. With respect to these procedures, KBC consultants had a threefold task: (1) Review Mexican environmental legislation relating to refinery practises, (2) Review comparable international guidance, and (3) Advise on best international industrial practice. The impact of both current and future regulatory standards can be most economically addressed in the initial design phases. Our deliverable for this phase was a comprehensive report that described the permitting landscape for the initial design, followed by a two-day intensive workshop in Mexico City supported by the KBC technical team. Environmental consulting opportunities can be cultivated very early within capital project work, since the most cost-effective to address compliance is within the project planning phase.
In terms of emerging markets, environmental compliance has become increasingly important, because in order to obtain international funding, organisations must achieve compliance with Equator Principles versus solely local regulatory standards. Historically, KBC has worked with third-party service providers to address this component of a capital project. With the establishment of the environmental consulting business, such work can now be done in-house.
In December, KBC was engaged to perform work at First Quantum Minerals' (FQM) Kansanshi Mine, located approximately 250km from the town of Ndola, Zambia. The project consisted of an environmental compliance audit and Equator Principles gap analyses (required for funding) of the mine's 420 tonne/day sulphuric acid plant and sewage stabilisation ponds. In addition to the reports, KBC was able to introduce FQM to certain other KBC services such as energy and organisational solutions. The advantages of entering into the environmental consulting business is twofold: (1) Round the existing KBC service portfolio for our existing client base and (2) Enter other client sectors such as mining and minerals, a key experience of this newly formed group.