Strategy 2022 Environmental ProgrammeNLMK Group has one of the most advanced environmental programmes among steelmaking companies globally. NLMK is committed to consistent efforts to minimise its environmental impact and achieve best-in-class environmental performance.
Since 2000, NLMK Group has invested approximately $1.3 billion in environmental initiatives. Over that period the Company has doubled its output and become the largest steelmaker in Russia. Meanwhile, new advanced technologies and a major equipment upgrade significantly reduced the Group's environmental footprint.
The long-term Environmental Programme is aligned with the Company’s strategic cycle and forms part of NLMK Group’s investment programme. The programme is designed to minimize the Company’s environmental impact and to achieve best-in-class environmental performance in the global steel sector.
Implementation of the Environmental Programme will ensure the attainment of Strategy 2022 environmental goals:
- Achieve compliance with all environmental regulations for all NLMK Group companies;
- Reduce CO2 emissions (Scope 1 + Scope 2) to 1.84 t/t of steel and pig iron;
- Reduce specific emissions by NLMK Group’s Russian operations to the steelmaking industry’s best available technology level: 18.0 kg/t of steel;
- Reduce pollutant discharge by 25%;
- Increase the share of recycled waste to 92%.
NLMK Group’s total investment in environmental improvements and projects at its sites under the 2019–2023 Environmental Programme will exceed RUB 20 billion.
During the Stage III period of the technical upgrade programme, from 2014 to 2018, NLMK Group invested over RUB 20 billion into environmental projects.
Even as NLMK Group’s Russian companies increased their steel output, specific atmospheric emissions across the Group decreased from 20.1 to 18.9 kg per tonne of product. At the same time waste reclamation levels remained high, at 87% (without mining waste), while the share of recycled water supply stood at 97% and specific water consumption for production decreased from 8.1 to 6.8 m³ per tonne of product.
Key projects aimed at reducing air emissions
1.7x decrease in wastewater discharges
NLMK Group is currently developing and testing innovative projects in the following areas:
- Utilizing CO2 as a product: process water softening, slag carbonization, market sales of carbon dioxide
- Slag quenching simulation to assess hydrogen sulphide release
- Online monitoring of atmospheric air and analysing the obtained data
- Equipping emission sources with automatic control systems
- Using unmanned aerial vehicles for environmental monitoring
- New water purification technologies
- Suppression of dust from secondary sources
NLMK Group and the Skolkovo Foundation have signed a strategic cooperation agreement on innovation.
The Skolkovo Foundation will provide NLMK Group access to its project portfolio, including R&D in construction, advanced materials, and solutions to enable NLMK to improve its production and business processes. The parties have also agreed on formats for expert and advisory support for relevant projects.
NLMK Group plans to trial and implement the most efficient innovative solutions at its companies in Russia, the US, and Europe.
Environmental monitoring innovations
Simulation of emission impact
A digital service has been developed as part of an innovative approach to assessing NLMK’s impact on the level of atmospheric emissions. As a result, the time it takes to perform an analysis of the state of the atmosphere in various sections has been significantly reduced. The programme automatically creates easy-to-read graphs and diagrams.
Data from daily measurements (three measurements per day) performed for nine substances in twelve points across the city, as well as data from five observation posts of the Federal Hydrometeorological Service, are processed to assess the impact on atmospheric pollution in Lipetsk. The assessment methodology itself and the digital monitoring data processing service are innovations that enable higher efficiency of decision-making related to atmospheric air protection.
Analysis of visible emissions
Currently, a system for analysing NLMK's visible emissions is being developed using machine vision algorithms and deep learning methods. This will enable identification of any atypical emissions into the atmosphere recorded by video surveillance cameras, determining their location and the estimated volume. Upon receiving the results, the production department experts and the plant’s Industrial Environment Department will conduct a detailed analysis and determine the causes of emissions.
Video cameras cover the main facilities of the plant with significant gross emissions, companies with a significant visible impact on the atmosphere at the plant border, and sources with specific odours. The cameras also capture the view of the site as seen by Lipetsk residents.
Unmanned aerial vehicles for environmental monitoring
The use of unmanned aerial vehicle technologies has expanded the ability to monitor the environmental situation on the plant’s premises and beyond, enabling coverage of the entire area, including inaccessible segments and facilities, and to increase the frequency of control.