Environmental Reconstruction by Metinvest Group Cuts 90% of Chimney Fumes in Ukraine
The Metinvest Group recently completed the largest environmental project in the nation’s history since the country achieved independence. The project involved reconstructing gas treatment facilities located at one of its subsidiaries, Ilyich Iron and Steel Works (Ilyich Steel). The environmental reconstruction project cost the equivalent of $160 million in U.S. currency.
Sinter Plant Modernization Took More Than Seven Years
Before completion of the recent project, the sinter plant at Ilyich Steel created up to 40 percent of dust emissions in the city of Mariupol. The plant also contributed as much as 80 percent of the company’s emissions. Now that the environmental improvement project is complete, none of the chimneys at Ilyich Steel emit any smoke and the company now meets European standards.
Project workers still need to commission new filters for all the chimneys. Once that is complete, the chimneys will produce 46 percent less sulfur and 90 percent less dust. Collectively, this will reduce dust emissions into the city by one-third. Metinvest Engineering acted as the general contractor for the project and Termokimik Corporation of Italy supplied technology and equipment.
Metinvest Group CEO Says the Company Keeps Its Word
Yuriy Ryzhenkov, the CEO of Metinvest Group, recently stated that the company’s dedication to this project over the past seven years demonstrates that it follows through on its promises. The company understood how important it was for the people of Mariupol to have cleaner air. Even though workers faced enormous challenges because of the pandemic, they still completed the environmental reconstruction project on schedule. The Metinvest Group poured millions of dollars into finishing the project because the company cares about being good citizens.
Now that the sinter plant at Ilyich Steel and Iron Works is complete, it is the largest one in Europe. The plant also holds the distinction of being the cleanest, most modern, and most environmentally friendly in the country.
Understanding the Two-Stage Gas Cleaning System
The Metinvest Group proposed and implemented a complex gas cleaning system that takes place in two stages. During the first stage, a worker deploys a coarse dust cleaning system that uses Hurricane cyclones. The cyclones capture coarse particles of dust to reuse in future production. The second stage involves cleaning sulfur and dust compounds in extra-strength bag filters to reduce the emission of dust by more than 10 times.
According to Audrey Panchenko, manager of Ilyich Steel’s sinter plant modernization project, the company first envisioned regulations of a dust emission level of 300 mg/m3. The newly developed gas cleaning system offers 15 to 20 mg/m3 while legislation in the Ukraine dictates a measure of 50 mg/m3.
How Metinvest Engineering Built the Two-Stage Cleaning System
The engineers assigned to the environmental reconstruction project worked in stages to build a complex where they could complete two-stage cleaning of cooling and sintering zones. They had to repeat this process for each of the 12 sintering machines.
Ilyich Steel already has a modern system for gas cleaning at the sinter plant. Despite this, work continued on the cooling zone for the first sinter machine. Each machine received an upgrade to electrostatic precipitators manufactured by Speick. Engineers also need to install two bag filters for each machine, which they should complete later this year.
Taras Shevchenko, the General Manager of Ilyich Steel, echoed what others said when he recently commented on the Metinvest Group following through on its commitments. He acknowledged the sinter plant was outdated and greatly in need of modernization. Shevchenko also commended the parent company for backing up this challenging project with expert engineers and adequate financing. Now that the chimneys at Ilyich Steel no longer emit fumes, he wants to improve the blast furnace process.
Challenges of Italian and Ukrainian Companies Working Together During the Pandemic
Employees from Metinvest Engineering and the Termokimik Corporation had worked together for five-and-a-half years when the coronavirus pandemic struck the world. They were approaching the end of the project at that time. Unfortunately for the project but understandably for human health, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that all foreign workers had to return home.
Italian workers left Ukraine in the spring of 2020. Once the workers got back to their home country, the Italian government closed offices of Termokimik and other industrial companies during a strict quarantine. The quarantine rules eased by the summer of 2020, which allowed the Italian workers to return to Ukraine to complete the sinter plant modernization project. The specialists from Italy returned to Ukraine a second time to test the equipment and ensure completion of the project within the deadline promised to Mariupol citizens.
Metinvest is an international steel and mining corporation. The company, which launched in 2006, manages the entire value chain. This includes mining and processing coal and iron ore to create finished and semi-finished steel products. Metinvest is the largest privately-held business in Ukraine, the 13th largest in Eastern and Central Europe, and one of the top 50 largest steel companies in the world.
Metinvest operates mining, metallurgy, logistics, and trading divisions in Ukraine, the United States, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, and Italy. Company leadership has strategically placed Metinvest headquarters near ports and railway lines to ensure that it can send raw steel materials to any location in the world.