EMISSIONS ARE NO PENNY-ANTE
Togliattyazot, the largest Russian producer of ammonia, plans to invest up RUB 80 billion in the modernisation of its manufacturing facilities until 2022 and ramp up production capacity by 20 per cent.
Gain in production is supposed to be concurrent with the solution of the problem for the disposal of exhaust gas from existing units, which contains enough fractions for further processing. To do this, TOAZ is developing a project for construction of the eighth new ammonia unit to produce 1.86 thousand tons a day (around 680,000 tons a year) as part of its large-scale investment program. Its launch is scheduled for 2019-2020, which is going to boost overall company capacity by 22.7 percent.
The new project has passed public hearings on the Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment. The participants of the environmental discussion included representatives of the Togliatti City Administration, scientists from the Institute of Chemistry and Engineering Ecology, as well as journalists and interested citizens. Developed in cooperation with the construction and engineering company KBR and the engineering company ORGKHIM, the project involves using the technology that allows reducing environmental emissions of nitrogen oxide, which is unique for the Russian chemical industry. The plant feeds on purge gas from existing ammonia units to synthesize ammonia. Currently, local industrial facilities simply burn gas as fuel, but the new technology does not require extra feedstock and utilizes internal production resources.
Given the absence of the traditional reforming and purification stage, ammonia production from purge gas will involve practically no liquid and gaseous waste. Aggregate emissions from the new plan will only account for 0.27 per cent of overall enterprise emissions, which is below the maximum permissible concentrations at the border of the designed sanitary protection zone. Apart from production and environmental advantages, fewer processing steps will save power consumption. It will be as low as 8.5 Gcal per 1 ton of ammonia produced.
Considering quality and detailed project development, experts from Togliatti City Administration specializing in state environmental supervision, who were present at the discussion, even recommended using the hearing files as a tutorial for specialised higher educational institutions.
When commenting the company’s plans for retrofitting and upgrading, CEO Deputy for Operations at Togliattyazot Mr. Victor Kazachkov emphasized that the new plant project will enable TOAZ to ramp up ammonia production significantly while maintaining its market leadership.
- We don’t only strive to scale up our production, but also reduce power consumption and environmental impact dues to the use of new technologies and developments from our partners. The documentation package revised according to the comments and suggestions voiced during the public hearing will be submitted to undergo State Environmental Review.
It is revealing that starting from 2012 Togliattyazot have invested over RUB 26 billion in the retrofitting and major repairs of the industrial site. In 2016 alone, this figure exceeded RUB 6 billion, while in 2017 it will keep growing to reach RUB 6.7 billion.
Today, the enterprise has its repair activities at existing ammonia and carbamide production plants in full swing. This work is supposed to be followed be major repairs of the second insulated tank for liquid ammonia.
According to Mr. Vyacheslav Suslov, CEO at Togliattyazot Corporation CJSC, these activities are critical for both improving current operating performance and creating a platform for the implementation of new large-scale investment projects, such as expansion of carbamide production and driving performance of ammonia plants.
“Within the framework of the investment program, our enterprise plans to launch another big project in 2017, which involves construction of the third carbamide production unit with installed production capacity of 2,200 tons per day. This whole scope of measures is expected to increase efficiency and reliability of equipment, thus having a positive impact on environmental safety,” said Vyacheslav Suslov.
Over the past five years, Togliattyazot invested more than RUB 1.7 billion in its environmental efforts, not including plant renewal expenses. With almost RUB 700 million of investment in environmental projects for the past two years, the company was able to reduce emissions of air contaminants to 6,622.5 tons (vs. 6,742.6 tons in 2015), which is 27 percent below the maximum permissible level officially set for the enterprise. Consumption of raw materials and natural resources have gone down markedly.
One of the key areas of environmental activities in 2016 was modernisation of the plant’s biological treatment facilities, which resulted in tangible improvement in the quality of water returned to Saratov Reservoir. The total volume of investment in the modernization of water discharge and treatment systems made by Togliattyazot will amount to around RUB 5 billion. To note, TOAZ treatment facilities do not only purify the plant’s effluents to the fishery standard, but also serve facilities of the northern industrial hub and Togliatti utility users.
In 2017, Togliattyazot will continue to enhance operational reliability of the process equipment, improve the system for environmental monitoring of air, water and soil quality, and mitigate human-caused environmental impacts. All of these parameters are extremely sensitive for a highly chemical city like Togliatti. However, the opinion of the environmental authorities, specifically the expert report on the new ammonia production unit, do not raise any concerns. When finalized, the project is very unlikely to have any adverse effects on the auto city’s ecosystem.
Russian nitrogen fertilizer major Togliattiazot on Monday revealed the centrepiece of its new urea plant - a 107 metre tall granulation tower - had been installed and the project is 38% complete. Due for commissioning in 2021, the 2,200 tonne/day unit will reinforce the company's presence as the largest supplier of urea to the domestic market.