NLMK reports continued environmental improvements
Environmental improvements were driven by projects to upgrade blast furnace (BF) and BOF (basic oxygen furnace) equipment implemented in 2012 using best available steelmaking practices, including eco-friendliness. One of the most significant efforts was directed towards reducing the impact of industrial emissions on air. The project included dust suppression at the Reinforced Concrete Shop; stove repairs at the BF Shops; and gas cleaning system optimisation in BOF Shop #1 and at the Sinter Plant. The most substantial investment went towards the reconstruction of the hot metal pouring section in BOF Shop #2 using efficient red fume, dust and graphite suppression technologies, as well as the revamping of the Sinter Plant central aspiration system using modern precipitators.
In 2012, the Company recycled approximately 4.5 million tonnes of waste, including 4.3 million tonnes of routinely generated waste and almost 0.2 million tonnes of previously accumulated waste. Over 2.6 million tonnes were reused in production. The rest was used in the production of construction materials, in the development of internal roads, and in recultivating the site. The amount of recycled, sold and utilised production waste reached almost 94% of waste generation in 2012.
In 2009, the Company stopped waste water discharge into the Voronezh river. As a result of measures aimed at water use optimisation in 2012 specific water consumption for production purposes went down by 15% year-on-year.
In line with the environmental transparency policy, NLMK organises round tables for non-government organisations (NGOs) to get feedback on its actions and use it going forward. For instance, NLMK has started to release daily briefings for the local community regarding the air conditions at the boundaries of NLMK’s Sanitary Protection Zone: throughout the day, two Lipetsk TV channels run a crawler with the results of the samples taken by a mobile laboratory. In 2012 NLMK has started publishing monthly air pollution measurements and annual environmental statistic reports on its corporate website – previously these were only available to the public on demand from the regulators.
Environmental investments within the 2nd Stage of NLMK’s Technical Upgrade Program (2007 – 2012) totaled RUB17.6 billion. The Company has completed over 150 air protection projects, over 40 water protection projects, and over 15 waste handling projects. As a result, gross emissions at the Lipetsk site have gone down by more than 31,000 tonnes over the last five years. The Company processes up to 94% of its production waste, as well as solid steelmaking waste accumulated during the Soviet era (1.6 million tonnes have already been recycled). In 2012, Novolipetsk successfully passed an audit of its Environmental Management System with regard to its compliance with the requirements of International Standard ISO 14001:2004. Over the last ten years, such annual audits have invariably confirmed the efficiency of all the elements in NLMK’s Environmental Management System.