MMK initiates important environmental project
The reconstruction project will replace the duct which connects the sinter plant and the sulphur recovery units of the sinter plant with a larger structure, which will ensure that all sinter gases from the plant are cleaned.
In total, more than 220 metres of gas ducts, with a diameter of 5.4 metres, will need to be mounted within a month. The weight of the metal structures will be more than 650 tonnes. The duct will be protected by special materials, the lower part is lined with chemical-resistant tiles and the rest is covered with modern coatings, this will ensure the long-term operation of the equipment at high temperatures and in demanding environments. The installation of the gas ducts is due to be completed by the end of September, and a large amount of preliminary work has been done in order to implement them in such a short time. The design of the facility began in 2017; the underground part of the exhaust gas tract was reconstructed in 2018, with an extension section being added and the design of the node which connects the ground duct being changed. Already this year, work has been carried out in advance to manufacture and assemble the individual elements: chemical protection was applied, as well as the lining of the sections being put in place.
As a result of the project, the entire volume of sinter gases that are formed at sinter plant No. 3 (1.6 mln cu m per hour) will be sent to the sulphur recovery units to remove dust (with a 98% efficiency rate) and sulphur dioxide (with a 93% efficiency rate). At present, only PJSC MMK uses special gas cleaning plants for the desulphurization (purification from sulphur compounds) of sinter gases in the production of sinter. Construction of similar facilities requires significant investment. In recent years, MMK has spent about RUB 4 billion on the reconstruction of sulphur recovery units for sinter plants No.2, No.3 and No.4.
Agglomerate is the main raw material for producing pig iron in a blast furnace. Emissions from sintering production account for about half of all atmospheric emissions in the iron and steel industry. Therefore, MMK has a strong focus on achieving high environmental standards at this stage of production. In July 2019, sinter plant No. 5 was launched with Russian President Vladimir Putin present. The new sinter plant is equipped with 19 modern, high-efficiency, environmental facilities and built using the world's best available technologies. The development of production capacities at the new sinter plant will allow for the decommissioning of four sintering machines at sinter plant No. 4 in the fourth quarter of 2019, with a production capacity of 3.9 million tonnes per year and will reduce the sinter plant's dust emissions twofold and sulphur dioxide emissions fourfold. MMK's total sulphur dioxide emissions will amount to 0.5 kg per tonne of steel, which is 30% less than the level achieved by the leading European steel companies.
MMK carries out production activities with the understanding of its responsibility for impact on the environment. The environmental policy of the Company provides for a radical reduction of emissions into the atmosphere, which will lead to a low level of air pollution in Magnitogorsk by 2025. In total, the Company's investments in environmental projects over the period 2018-2025 will exceed RUB 38 million.
This summer, MMK was awarded a certificate from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for its contribution to sustainable development and environmental initiatives in the Chelyabinsk region. The UN experts praised MMK's efforts in the field of reduction and prevention of anthropogenic impact on the environment. The total amount of financing for MMK's environmental programme in 2018 amounted to RUB 6.463 billion. Overall, during the period 2000-2018, MMK allocated in excess of RUB 58 billion to environmental activities. The result of this work was the reduction of atmospheric emissions by 1.6 times in this period (specific consumption was reduced by 2.1 times) and the reduction of total discharge of pollutants into water bodies by 2.9 times over the same period. Today, 100% of industrial waste water is used in water recycling.
MMK is one of the world's largest steel producers and a leading Russian metals company. The company's operations in Russia include a large steel-producing unit encompassing the entire production chain, from the preparation of iron ore to downstream processing of rolled steel. MMK turns out a broad range of steel products with a predominant share of high-value-added products. In 2018, the company produced 12.7 mln tonnes of crude steel and 11.7 mln tonnes of commercial steel products. MMK Group had sales in 2018 of USD 8,214 mln and EBITDA of USD 2,418 mln.
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