Renovation and expansion of the existing facility to comply with Russian and international environmental standards and produce LME quality zinc (Special High Grade).
Key objectives of the programme will be to:
- bring the smelter’s operations in line with relevant environmental standards,
- expand capacity to meet growing domestic demand,
- refine zinc meeting London Metal Exchange Standards.
The EBRD’s support for a well-managed and dynamic company which has been undergoing a successful restructuring will have a strong transition impact, including also improved environment management practices.
Chelyabinsk Electrolytic Zinc Plant is the largest zinc smelter in Russia. It is majority owned by Vitol, a major international oil trading and refining group.
A US$ 15 million long term loan (€16.5 million equivalent).
Total future investment programme amounts to US$ 37 million (€40.70 million).
The project was categorised as a B/1, requiring an environmental audit and analysis, which were carried out by an independent environmental consultancy firm in 1996, to the satisfaction of the Bank. In 1999 the report was updated by the company. A member of EAU visited CEZP in 1995 and in 1999 and discussed environmental concerns with members of the management of the company and reviewed the proposed Environmental Action Plan. In general, the company appears to be making satisfactory progress on addressing the issues identified in the audit and analysis.
Key environmental issues associated with the operation of CEZP include the following:
Emissions to atmosphere: CEZP currently emits 35 different pollutants to the atmosphere, some of which are considered hazardous. The most significant emissions which need to be addressed are lead, sulphur dioxide and zinc oxide dust emissions, of which lead is classified as highly hazardous.
Sources of emissions and pollutants are regularly monitored. The Environmental Action Plan (EAP) commits CEZP to reduce its lead, dust, sulphur dioxide and zinc oxide emissions to the required levels through its investment programme, which will lead to considerable environmental and worker health and safety improvements.
In particular, the following improvements will be carried out: (i) decommissioning of the zinc cake filtration and drying plant and installation of two Larox filters; (ii) opening of an electrolysis solution treatment section and decommissioning of the leaching shop; (iii) reconstruction and commissioning of the third sulphuric acid system and major overhaul of some other components; (iv) commissioning of a new zinc-spraying unit for the zinc electrolysis plant and (v) commissioning of a new electrolysis workshop, a cadmium section and a melting section at the zinc electrolysis plant. These improvements will help to reduce emissions (e.g. of dust; lead; zinc oxide; sulphur dioxide; carbon monoxide; sulphuric acid) and will thus help to ensure compliance with relevant standards.
Wastewater discharge: Since 1997, treated domestic sewage is no longer sent to the municipal treatment plant, but is included in the effluent treated at the process effluent and storm water treatment plant and discharged into a lagoon. The Chelyabinsk Environmental Committee grants annually an emission licence to the plant. In 1997 and 1998 the plant did not exceed the licensed quantities and did not pay any fines.
Solid waste: CEZP operates a closed-cycle process, which does not generate any process waste. The office waste is collected and taken to the municipal dump.
Environmental protection facilities included in the investment project
CEZP is aware of the environmental and health and safety issues associated with the plant and are willing to address them over a defined period of time. It is anticipated that implementation of the modernisation programme will enable CEZP to address many of the outstanding environmental issues and take measures to ensure full compliance with Russian and World Bank environmental standards by 2007. CEZP will be required, through a covenant, to implement the EAP. CEZP has committed to release information on the investment programme and environmental and safety upgrades to the public through articles in the media. The Bank will monitor the progress of the EAP through annual reports, including emissions data and site visits by the Environmental Appraisal Unit.
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