Hidro Nitro Española, S.A., was founded on 2 November 1940 with the corporate purpose of producing electricity and manufacturing chemical products.

In 1960, it was managed by Carburos Metálicos. In 1968, Mr Juan-Miguel Villar Mir took over as Chairman and oversaw the recovery of Hidro Nitro and its significant industrial expansion.

In 1969 Pechiney Ugine Kuhlmann purchased 40% of the equity.

Subsequently, the Ferromanganese and Silicomanganese furnaces and the Plants of Arias 1 and Arias 2 were commissioned and the company started producing powdered products. In 1991, the active safety system was implemented and the company received the AENOR Quality Certificate, in accordance with the ISO 9001 Standard, in 1992.

In 1996, Hidro Nitro was acquired by Grupo FerroAtlántica, which was part of Grupo Villar Mir, beginning a new plan for the expansion and modernisation of its operations with the commissioning of a cogeneration system, a new Silicomanganese furnace and a new Ferromanganese furnace.

The hydroelectric plants were entered in the Special Regime Register, in accordance with Royal Decree 2818/98.

2007 was the year in which the greatest amount of ferroalloys was produced (99,623 t).

Hidro Nitro has its own railway terminal.

HNE Environmental Controls

hnecoladaDischarge of waste water

The water collected in the plant is used to cool the furnaces and for other sanitation purposes.

Analytical controls have been performed on the corresponding discharges and the corresponding certificates were issued by a Participating Company and the results were reported to the Hydrographical Confederation of the River Ebro.


Discharge of industrial materials

The water collected is used to cool the furnaces and is returned to the river in the same conditions as when collected.

The Integrated Environmental Permit establishes a maximum limit by which the temperature can increase of 3 degrees between the area where the discharge is released and the area upstream. Applus, as a Participating Company, takes measurements every month and in all cases this limit is respected.

The pH levels and the volume of flow are checked daily and they fulfil the limits established in the IEP.


Every year, during the summer, a Participating Company carries out a Study on the Ecological Condition of the River Cinca, in the areas around HNE, which consists of taking samples from the river's water and analysing them. The report concludes that the ecological status of the River Cinca is GOOD both upstream and downstream from the plant's discharge point, according to the results obtained from the IBMWP (Biological Monitoring Working Party Index) benthonic invertebrates biological indicator. The physiochemical parameters that are studied do not show any alterations in respect of the established quality limits.

Rain discharges

The rainwater is collected in two tanks, to eliminate any solids before it is discharged. Removing the mud was not necessary, due to the low rainfall levels.

Sanitation water discharge

The sanitation water is routed to the municipal sewage system on the industrial estate from where it is pumped out to the Waste Water Treatment Plant of Monzón. Applus performs annual analysis of this waste to ensure that the pH limits and levels of suspended Solids, BD05 (5-day Biochemical Demand) and COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) do not exceed the amounts stated in the IEP.

Atmospheric Emissions

The focal points of the emissions in HNE are as follows:




Furnace FeMn 1


Furnace SiMn 1


 Changing room boiler


 Maintenance boiler


Raw Materials filter


Furnace SiMn 2


Weighing Conveyors Filter


SiMn Outlet Filter


SiMn Mineral Crush/Wash Area Filters


FeMn Casting Filter


FeMn Mineral Crush/Wash Area Filters


Densimetric Table Filter


Furnace FeMn 2


Emissions controls

  • Official controls are performed every two years on A-type focal points and every 5 years on C-type focal points.
  • In-house controls are performed on A-type focal points every fortnight and SO2 and NOx parameter controls are performed on C-type focal points every year.
  • The plant has established an officially endorsed control system which constantly takes constant readings and records them to ensure that the emissions of particles and CO in the furnace filters (focal points 2, 3, 11 and 19) are within the limits. There are 7 continuous particle measurers and 4 CO2 measurers.
  • The results obtained fulfil the limits established in the IEP in all cases and are registered and kept in the records corresponding to each focal point.

Air quality control around the factory (immissions)

In 2011, a new piece of equipment that takes samples and measures PM 10 particles in the atmosphere (immission measures), has been installed in the centre of Monzón. The equipment was recently authorised and installed and it works properly. The results are recorded daily and the values obtained fulfil the limits established in Royal Decree 102/2011, of 28 January, on the improvement of air quality.

Production of waste

HNE produces different types of waste:

  • Hazardous waste: contaminated containers, used oil, toner, contaminated rags and filters, laboratory reagents, etc.
  • Electric and electronic waste: fluorescent tubes.
  • Non-hazardous waste: scrap, wood, plastic, rubber belts, etc.

All types of waste are duly stored and labelled and managed with authorised waste disposal companies.

All documents pertaining to the acceptance, control and monitoring of all waste are duly recorded and filed. The declarations on hazardous and non-hazardous waste are issued each year.


Each year, HNE measures the noise levels in various areas around the perimeter of the plant, through a Participating Company. The levels are measured during the day and at night and in all cases, the levels fulfil the limits established in the Municipal Regulations.


The following contaminated soil studies have been performed:

  • Preliminary report on condition of contaminated soil.
  • Proposed plan for characterisation of soil.
  • Inspection of subterranean waters and soils
  • Risk evaluation of contaminated soil.

All studies conclude that the risk associated to the presence of pollution in the different scenarios is acceptable.

Greenhouse Gases

The Regional Government of Aragón has issued the corresponding greenhouse gas emissions permit and the plant has applied for the free allowance of GHG emission rights, with the corresponding methodological report and calculations verified by AENOR.