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Environmentalists from Kyiv: Metinvest is on the way to European standards

31 July 2013 // Press centre Metinvest Group

Seminars took place in Mariupol and Zaporizhya as part of the project “Public Lobbying to Implement EU Standards in Ukraine in the field of Air Quality.” The seminars were organized by the All-Ukrainian public organization Live Planet with the support of the European program of the International Renaissance Foundation and assistance from the Public Council of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, Zaporizhya Regional Administration and Mariupol City Council.

Deputy Chairman of the Public Council of the Ministry and the Natural Resources of Ukraine and President of the All-Ukrainian public organization Live Planet Svetlana Berzina and Director of the Environmental Initiatives Center and national air quality expert Oleg Kartavtsev talked to representatives of city public and environmental organizations, industrial enterprises and scientific & research institutes.

Seminar participants discussed atmospheric emissions in Mariupol, Zaporizhya and other regions, as well as the required legislative amendments to adapt EU standards. The experts unanimously agreed that for cities where most of the population is employed by steel manufacturers it is important to revive the eco-system.

Metinvest Group also believes in this approach. For example, Zaporizhstal is implementing projects that will comply with EU standards and improve the environmental situation in the city and the whole region.

"When Zaporizhstal's shareholder changed in August 2012, the plant started to actively modernize its production facilities, including a set of technological solutions to reduce the environmental impact by improving the efficiency of the enterprise to the level of international steel producers,” said Zaporizhstal HSE Director Igor Chernyak.

Among the most important modernization projects are the construction of the sinter plant, dedusters and BOF shop, and the decommissioning of the open hearth shop.

The guests visited Azovstal to see what is being done to improve the environmental situation in Mariupol. The environmentalists from Kyiv saw that harmful production processes were shut down, including the open-hearth shop and the sinter plant, and three coking batteries.

"The plant is impressive; its scale is impressive,” said Berzina. “The enterprise lives and there have already been a number of positive changes. No doubt, we will see a trend of reduced air pollution. After talking with management of the enterprise and with Metinvest representatives, I have hope that the enterprise will develop. At the same time, this development will contribute to improved environmental impact. There is a lot of work to be done. I can provide only positive feedback on the changes at the plant and wish the management does not to rest on their laurels and move forward."

The guests saw gas cleaners in operation at active coking batteries and the dedusters at the blast furnace shop.

"The technological process is metal, ore, and the hard work of people. It needs to be respected and understood,” said Kartavtsev. “It does not make sense to value iron, but it makes sense to value people. The thing is that the people of Azovstal are professionals. People want to do better, to change something, and to redesign. I can see that people here are constructive."

Metinvest Group is interested in bringing its environmental indicators as close as possible to EU standards.

“We set ambitious goals to improve environmental safety at our enterprises: existing cleaning equipment must be as effective as possible, with a gradual transition to new technologies," said Vladislav Belous, head of the environmental department of Metinvest Group.