Comments on the Establishment of Aluminum Smelters in
Trinidad and Tobago
Ivan Chang Yen, PhD
Senior Lecturer, Analytical Chemistry,
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine
I have extensive experience (nearly 30 years) of environmental contamination by petrochemicals, heavy metals, organo-metallic and other inorganic pollutants in Trinidad and Tobago, particularly in lead pollution and poisoning. Such experiences form the basis of my contribution in this matter.
2. Basis of Evaluation:
My comments are based on the following:
a) Published scientific literature on aluminum smelting.
b) Information from scientific databases available on the internet, including that of the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA).
c) Information provided by Fr. Moses, namely a CD, which contained articles by Professor Julian Kenny and an interview with Mr. Randy Overbey, President of Primary Metals Development, ALCOA, by Mark Meredith, of the Express Newspapers.
d) The documents on the Environmental Management Authority’s website, on the proposed ALUTRINT aluminum smelter at Union Industrial Estate, La Brea.
e) My own experiences of environmental and human health problems over the past 15 years, caused by lead smelter wastes in east Trinidad.
f) My knowledge of and research into hazardous waste disposal systems in Trinidad and Tobago.
3. Arguments For Aluminum Smelters:
a) Temporary and permanent employment of locals at the smelters
b) Downstream industries utilizing refined aluminum, with enhanced employment and development opportunities
c) Value-added utilization of natural gas in local processes
d) Modern plant facilities, with controlled atmospheric emissions and effluents
e) The Chatham/Cap-de-Ville and the Union Estate facilities are proposed to be integrated into the ecosystem, to reduce contact...