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Removal of last part of oil lagoons in Ostrava starts

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Ostrava, North Moravia, Nov 14 (CTK) – The removal of oil lagoons left behind a former chemical plant in the Ostrava city started after some time again and the AVE CZ firm responsible for it took over the area from the Czech state-run company Diamo, Diamo spokeswoman Jana Dronska told CTK on Tuesday.

AVE CZ won the tender for the removal of the remaining 91,000 tonnes of toxic sludge and it has received all the necessary licences and permissions from ministries.

“After a long time, progress will be made in the liquidation of the oil lagoons that burden the city inhabitants for many years. The legislative and approval process was demanding and lengthy, however, it is a guarantee of the best possible protection of the inhabitants and the least possible impact of the project on the environment,” Diamo director Tomas Rychtarik said.

The oil lagoons, left behind by the Ostramo chemical plant that operated in Ostrava throughout the 20th century, are one of the biggest old environmental burdens in the Czech Republic.

The cleaning of the bad-smelling oil lagoon was accompanied with many problems, concerning a sulphur dioxide leak and the liquidation of fuel produced from the sludge. The deadline by which the cleaning would be completed has been repeatedly postponed.

About 200,000 tonnes of toxic sludge have been removed and disposed of since 2004. The cleaning stopped in 2011 and it was revealed that the lagoons contain more toxic sludge than originally expected. AVE CZ won the tender for the removal of the remaining sludge in late 2015. Under the contract worth 429 million crowns, the firm is to remove and dispose of the sludge by the end of 2018.

This stage of the cleaning of the lagoons will be supervised by the Odra company, which is part of Diamo.

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