Zaporizhstal JSC is definitely the leader among metallurgical enterprises of Ukraine regarding introduction of environmental protection technologies. Irrespective of this fact, the Deputies of the City and Regional Councils have been putting strong pressure on the metallurgists, blaming them for not fulfilling the Environmental Law. The Zaporizhstal JSC collective has expressed its negative attitude towards such policy. The voice of the workers of Zaporizhstal, who is a large filler of the local budget, was heard. Both those in power and the people were forced to start a constructive dialogue with the metallurgists. Will a compromise be found after all? We addressed Mr. N.M. Silin, Main Specialist on the Works’ Ecology, with such a question.
– I think, no I am almost sure, that in the current situation common sense will overcome. I do not want to accuse the Deputies of political bias or unprofessionalism. Originally political ambitions predominated over the existing realities because the members of any deputy fraction follow advice or carry out wishes of their leader. Nowadays many Deputies have started studying the running process and are evaluating the current situation.
– Do you want to say that the people’s representatives did not quite know what measures Zaporizhstal has been taking to improve the ecological situation in the city and at the Works?
– Yes, that is why we tried to get them familiarized with the actual situation. Many representatives of the city and regional councils have found out with interest, that to reduce environmental pollution several measures have been taken at the Works to improve the work of industrial equipment, to equip the emission and discharge sources with cleaning units on utilization and usage of industrial wastes. They thought we were not doing anything at all. Among the largest installations put into operation are the following: sintering plant, blast furnace shop and foundry shop recycling systems; second stage of rolling shop acid wastewater neutralization station; systems for suppressing emissions by nitrogen from the inter cone area of the four blast furnaces; cast yard and blast furnaces No. 3 and 2 under bunker premises unique aspiration system; tail parts of sintering machines Nos. 1-6 aspiration unit; installations for production of silicate bricks and wooden items with the usage of industrial waste as a source of raw material. And this is not all. Specialists are interested in the number of accomplished measures but people are interested in the final result. Well, in the last 10 years emissions into atmosphere at Zaporizhstal JSC have been reduced by 45%, wastewater discharge has been reduced by 35%, secondary use of industrial water has increased by 86%. These figures have convinced our opponents to look at the fulfillment of the environmental programme in a different way.
– Almost by half sounds quite optimistic. What can this be compared to?
– For example, in 1999 the total emissions into atmosphere per ton of produced steel amounted to 27.1kg/t.
In 2001 capital repair of blast furnace No.3 was carried out. Introduction of environmental protection measures on the furnace made it possible to improve labour conditions at work places in the range of required sanitary norms, and to reduce emission of hazardous substances into atmosphere by 4.2 thousand t/year. For principal improvement of labour conditions and reduction of emissions an aspiration system was installed in the cast yard, skip pit and charging device receiving cone. Catching of dust-laden gases is foreseen directly at the place of their formation.
For cleaning aspiration emissions bag filter ‘FRIR-11500’ with impulse regeneration is used. After pelletizing the caught dust is delivered to the sintering plant. The cost of the aspiration system on blast furnace No.3 amounted to 15.612 mln UAH.
In 2003 all this resulted in 19 kg/t of total emission into atmosphere per ton of produced steel.
In 2004 reconstruction of blast furnace No.2 was carried out. Installation of aspiration systems in the cast yard, skip pit and overhead passing bunker, nitrogen suppression of hazardous emissions of the inter bell furnace area made it possible to reduce emission of hazardous substances into atmosphere (dust, gaseous substances) by 8.2 thousand t/year. As a result the summary emission of hazardous substances into atmosphere per ton of produced steel reduced to 18.7 kg/t.
Reduction of specific emissions into atmosphere is connected with successful realization of accomplished environmental protection measures and increase of capital expenditures connected with environmental protection installations of the Works. In 2004 they totaled to 303.6 mln UAH.
– Further more?
– Of course. We are working according to a specially worked out programme. Hence, in 2005, as a result of successful reconstruction of blast furnaces Nos. 2,3, it became possible to put blast furnace No.1 out of operation, making it possible to additionally reduce hazardous substances (dust and gaseous substances) by 3083 t/year.
– And last year? I remember that after putting the installations into operation the critics calmed down.
– Of course. In October 2007 a unique system for cleaning aspirating emissions from the tail parts of sintering machines Nos. 1-6 and the places where sinter is loaded into hoppers, was put into operation, making it possible to reduce emissions of dust into atmosphere another 2500 t/year, which amounts to 25% of all the dust emissions at the Works. This is really a very considerable reduction against which it is hard to contradict.
– What can you say about the gases? The smell of gas is the most irritating factor.
– I would like to repeat once again, that all the jobs are done as a single set according to the worked out programme. At the Works jobs are accomplished on reduction of emissions of gaseous impurities into atmosphere. An example is the realization of measures in 2003-2006.
1. Usage of waste gas heat for the needs of the Works. The installation of an air heater of a new modification on blast furnace No.2 made it possible to reduce emissions of CO into atmosphere by 2750.6 t/year, though 1215.2 t/year was planned.
2. Usage of excess heat utilized at TPP made it possible to provide two city regions with hot water in summer, saving 10 million m3 of natural gas per year, consumed by the city organizations for heating water.
3. Introduction of flame burners (flat type) in the open-hearth furnace shop made it possible to reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides by 1806 t/year and carbon oxides by 1670 t/year due to complete combustion of fuel.
4. Realization of ecology heat technical tests and adjustment of heat consuming equipment made it possible to reduce CO emissions into atmosphere by 2370 t/year.
As a result of fulfilling environmental protection measures in 2005 summary emission into atmosphere per ton of produced steel amounted to 18.6 kg/t. In 2006 this factor amounted to 17.8 kg/t.
– What is being done today?
– At present the Works is selecting gas-cleaning equipment for sintering plant reconstruction. In correspondence with the technical assignment gas cleaning equipment is to provide reduction of dust emissions up to 50 mg/m3 at the existing emissions of 200 mg/m3.
– Last year was marked by a new wave of rage around gully Srednyaya. It affected the Works from the point of view of water protection measures fulfillment.
– Water basin protection is also one of our priority lines of activity. We have been busy solving these problems for several years.
During fulfillment of water protection measures directed towards economy and rational usage of the Works’ water resources in the period 2000-2007 discharge of return water to the Dnieper River reduced by 7.955 mln m3 and hazardous substance discharge reduced by 8388 t/year.
At the Works the programme for effective usage of recycling water and reduction of water discharge into the basin has been realized. For this purpose 11 closed recycling systems have been built and are effectively functioning.
In 2006 one more closed recycling system has been put into operation in gully Markusovaya. This is a complex of installations with a closed recycling system on catching drainage water in the slime dumps of Zaporizhstal JSC and the Zaporozhye Ferroalloy Plant. This allowed to excluded the discharge of polluted flow into the Dnieper River by 1.0 mln m3/year and reduce the consumption of fresh industrial water at the Works. The water in the closed recycling system is continuously used in the technological process of the slag processing shop of Zaporizhstal. The cost of this complex of installations amounted to 25 million UAH.
– But harm depends not only on the amount of discharged water but also its quality.
– We are also busy solving this problem. To reduce the volume of return water and improve the qualitative composition of water discharged into the Dnieper River, measures are being taken at the Works to transfer the existing pickling line in cold-rolling shop to a closed hydrochloric acid pickling line with the installation of regeneration of waste pickling solutions and further usage of regenerated products in the production process.
The construction of the hydrochloric acid pickling line with regeneration of waste pickling solutions, and putting out of operation the existing line with the usage of sulphuric acid will make it possible to reduce by 1.5 mln m3/year discharge of insufficiently purified water in the slime dump, hereby having a closed cycle of production. As a result of effective work of the Works’s recycling systems, more than 200 thousand t/year of iron containing slime is caught and returned to production, being an additional source of raw material and additional expenditure for its ground disposal is not required.
– Hence, nature protection work produces a profit? Though everyone knows that it is quite extravagant for metallurgical enterprises.
– Not quite but extremely extravagant. Judge for yourself, annual current expenditures on environmental protection amount to more than 90.0 mln UAH per year. Is that a lot or not? It depends how you look upon the question. At present these means allow to effectively use the environmental protection installations at the Works and in due time solve the current ecological problems. The main thing is that we are transferring to new metal production technologies. These figures are more weighable, and the effect, including ecological, is also much higher.