Norilsk Nickel considerably reduced emissions
MMC Norilsk Nickel (hereinafter – MMC Norilsk Nickel or the Company) summarized results of its environmental activities in 2010 and presented them at “Experience and methods of increasing environmental safety of industrial facilities” round table.
In order to protect natural environment MMC Norilsk Nickel upgrades production lines, implements new technologies, and launches projects in environmental safety. In 2004-2010 MMC Norilsk Nickel invested over 75 billion rubles into resolving environmental issues. These investments comprise recurrent expenses for reequipping, modernization and upgrades, maintenance of environmental safety equipment, and capital costs of natural environment protection.
In the recent years the emissions of the main pollutants into atmosphere have decreased considerably. As compared with 2004, total emissions throughout the Polar Division of the Company went down by 152.9 thousand tons in 2010.
The optimization of resurgent-gas based elemental sulphur production at the Copper Plant (including waste-heat boiler replacement, incinerator and gas supply system refurbishment), flash smelting technological lines renovation at Nadezhda Metal Plant, and a range of measures aimed at increasing the efficiency of dust cleaning, has lowered the negative impact on the atmosphere.
In 2010 only, as compared to 2009, sulphur dioxide emissions decreased by 36,6 thousand tons, which means the decrease was five times greater than in 2009.
Also, in 2010 metal emissions were reduced, including nickel oxide – by 5.3%, cupric oxide - by 12%, cobalt oxide – by 20.3%. In 2010 developed and started was the modernization of gas purifiers at all production divisions of the Polar Division. Presently, there are more than 300 installations in use for extracting dust from exhaust gases in the Polar Division, which allow annually capturing and bringing back into production 99% of dust produced.
A plan of events aimed at gradual emissions decrease is developed in the Company. It anticipates 12 events to be held in the nearest future. These events are based on metal production refurbishment, which implies that basic facilities for nickel production can be transferred at a maximum longest distance from Norilsk residential zone, with further disposal of SO2 from exhaust gases at Copper and Nadezhda metal plants.
The Company undertakes all necessary preventive and reduction measures against release of pollutants with sewage waters. In order to decrease the volume of source water usage for process needs and to prevent the operational waste waters from getting into water bodies, the Polar Division implemented the system of enclosed operational industrial waters circulation. In general, the volume of circulated waters comprises of 90% of total water used.
In 2004-2010, 21 wastewater outlets (over 736 thousand m3/year of waste waters) were liquidated; local water treatment facilities were built at 15 outlets; 8 outlets were incorporated into sewerage systems; 8 outlets were rebuilt with implementation of ultra violet water treatment. The decrease of pollutants emission is planned at 20 sites in 2011.
MMC Norilsk Nickel also finds it important to provide for ecologically sage stockpiles, processing and recycling of waste materials. The Company plants recycle up to 60% of all waste materials. Currently, the Company implements the project aimed at utilization of refinement tailings in waste areas of Talnakh mines. Once done, it will allow additionally employing up to 5 mln tons of refinement tailings per year. The first start-up complex is to be launched at Komsomolsky Mine in 1 quarter of 2011. With this complex it will be possible to use up to 250 thousand m3 of refined waste in stowing pulp production.
Kola industrial facilities of Norilsk Nickel had SO2 emissions decreased by 2.5 times in comparison with 1997. Kola MMC reclaimed and restored over 100 ha of land.
Currently MMC Norilsk Nickel is building agglomeration shop (which will provide for 95% decrease in SO2 emissions reduction) in Zapolyarny. The first agglomeration line is to be launched in first half of 2011.
Furthermore, the project aimed at upgrade of smelting facilities in Nickel shall be finished and the construction of modern smelter shall start. The project cost is preliminarily assessed at 4.6 billion rubles.
Mine waters treatment pilot unit arrives to Zapolyarny in February. The project cost is estimated at 1 billion rubles.
MMC Norilsk Nickel implemented and supports certified system of ecological management. Its compliance with ISO 14001 standards is annually confirmed by Bureau Veritas Certification, independent certifying organization.
Striving to provide the best possible environmental protection, MMC Norilsk Nickel cooperates with national and international academic and research institutions. In recent years, Norilsk Nickel has been working with Gipronickel Institute LLC (Saint-Petersburg), OJSC Giprogazoochistka (Moscow), Catalysis Institute of RAS (Novosibirsk), The All-Russia Research Institute for Organic Synthesis (Novokuibyshevsk), Ukrhimproekt, Mekhanobr Institute, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Worley Parsons (USA), Haldor Topsoe, Fluor (USA), Outokumpu (Finland), Siirtec Nigi (Italy), Axens (France) and many others.
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