At the end of January, some areas of the Murmansk region experienced adverse weather conditions. These conditions contributed to the accumulation of pollutants in the atmosphere. The Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Murmansk region) issued a warning to the region’s industrial enterprises with a request that measures be taken to cut emissions.
In the event of such adverse weather conditions, Kola MMC (part of Nornickel group) implements a special plan to regulate emissions. This plan was developed by experts from the Scientific Research Institute for the Protection of the Atmosphere (“Atmosfera” St Petersburg, Russia) and comprises a series of organisational measures and technical solutions.
The nature of the weather conditions and the state of the atmosphere determine which technical solutions are implemented. The breadth of measures span from regulating the number of machines being operated and at what power level to operating our smelting shop in standby mode and stopping furnaces. The decision regarding which restrictions to implement is made promptly based on the monitoring service’s conclusions on the state of the atmosphere.
On 25 January, after receiving a warning of adverse weather conditions, Nornickel implemented the appropriate technical solutions at its smelting shop, shutting down its furnaces and suspending the processing ofsulphur-containing raw material (copper-nickel concentrate briquettes). The temperature in the furnace was kept at the lowest required to prevent the molten metal from drying. Finally, the refining facilities suspended the processing of converter matte into nickel matte (the final product of the smelting shop).
“The implemented measures provide results but, as a company, we always aim to improve; in particular, we are developing further measures which will allow us to react more quickly to adverse weather conditions.” stated Evgenii Borzenko CEO of the Kola MMC. “At the same time, we continue to modernise our production units in order to decrease our negative impact on the environment.”
The company (including the industrial sites in Monchegorsk and Pechenga regions) has halved its sulphur dioxide emissions over the past two decades from 277,000 tonnes in 1998 to 104,800 tonnes in 2018. At its sites in the Pechenga region, in particular, sulphur dioxide emissions have decreased from 188,700 tonnes in 1998 to 68,190 tonnes in 2018.
The suspension of operations has no effect on output, as the annual production program is planned with it in mind.
Trends in decreasing sulphur dioxide emissions at the Kola MMC site in the Pechenga region
Trends in decreasing sulphur dioxide emissions at the Kola MMC
Trends in decreasing sulphur dioxide emissions at the Kola MMC site in the Monchegorsk region