Implementing the Minamata Convention on Mercury: Management of Chlor-Alkali Plants in the Petrochemical Industry

One of the major sources of mercury in the Islamic Republic of Iran are the chlor-alkali plants in the petrochemical industry. According to the UNEP Global Mercury Assessment in 2013, the global anthropogenic emissions of mercury from the chlor-alkali industry was 6% of the total emissions. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, there is only one petrochemical industry which consumes mercury in Chlor-Alkali Process.

There is an urgent need to set, customize and strengthen guidelines and promote adequate clean technology in major industries. The objective of this project is therefore to develop guidelines for minimization of mercury emissions and wastes and build capacity to manage mercury contaminated sites in the petrochemical industry in Iran to protect human health and the environment. The outcomes of this project will support Iran in implementing the Minamata Convention on Mercury – specifically Articles 1, 5, 14 and 16 by providing the necessary technical guidance, capacity building and awareness-raising.

Financial mechanism
Implementation timeline
SIP Round 1
Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 3. Good health and well-being
Goal 5. Gender equality
Goal 6. Clean water and sanitation
Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 11. Sustainable cities and communities
Goal 12. Responsible consumption and production

The objective of the project is to assist the Islamic Republic of Iran in decommissioning activities of chlor-alkali plants in order to enforce policy and strategic decision making.

Expected outcome
  • MEASURE 1 Conducting an inventory of mercury pollution in chlor-alkali plants.
  • MEASURE 2 Undertaking a health risk assessment to identify the population groups most at risk.
  • MEASURE 3 Developing guidance for decontamination, demolition, disposal of mercury wastes, and contaminated site management of chlor-alkali plants.
  • MEASURE 4 Periodic monitoring and review of progress.