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Welcome, Otters! – Natural Monument Found near SK hynix Icheon Production Site

By July 29, 2020 No Comments

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SK hynix discovered otters, Natural Monument No. 330 and a level-one endangered animal in South Korea, living near Jukdang Creek at Icheon, South Korea. The creek, which is close to SK hynix Icheon Production Site, receives properly treated effluent from the site.

SK hynix first discovered otter excrement and footprints in February 2019. Since then the Company constantly monitored the surrounding water ecosystem, and finally succeeded to shoot actual otters with unmanned infrared sensor cameras.

Figure 1. SK hynix discovered otters near SK hynix Icheon Production Site

 

SK hynix has been conducting quarterly water ecosystem investigation around its Icheon Production Site since 2019. As a result, the Company discovered not only otters but also sparrow hawks, kestrels, mandarin ducks living near Jukdang Creek; these animals are all enlisted as Natural Monuments in South Korea.

It is believed that the reason why a wide variety of animals inhabit Jukdang Creek is the stable food chain. The properly treated effluent from Icheon Production Site increased the water volume of the creek, and eventually provided animals inhabiting this area with more food.

Water is utilized for various manufacturing processes including wafer cleaning, equipment cooling, and clean room temperature adjustment. The effluent is then discharged via treatment facilities, with such proper treatment SK hynix Icheon Production Site discharges averagely 80,000 tons of water to Jukdang Creek on daily basis.

SK hynix currently has one integrated wastewater treatment plant at Icheon Production Site, and is building an eight-story advanced wastewater treatment plant which is to be operated within this year. Once the construction of the new plant M16 is finished and the water usage increases, the Company anticipates this huge facility will help treat effluent properly in the future.

It is notable that Icheon Production Site applies a much stricter water quality standard than the general standard set by the government. Under Framework Act on Environmental Policy by South Korean government, all indicators of SK hynix’s effluent maintain the “Ia (very good)” or “Ib (good)” level.

“We are conducting monthly water quality investigation and quarterly water ecosystem monitoring at the creek with external specialized institutions to minimize impact on the creek and increase ecological diversity,” said Hyeong Soo Kim, Head of Safety Health Environment (SHE) at SK hynix. “We plan to preserve the surrounding water ecosystem through continuous environmental impact monitoring and analysis.”