Reducing air emissions

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As a result of steelmaking processes, emissions of pollutants are inevitably generated. In steel production, the main emissions are carbon monoxide (CO), sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (dust) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The main source of formation of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides is fuel combustion. Also, significant volumes of carbon monoxide are generated during the blast furnace production stage. Sulphur oxides emissions are generated by oxidation of sulphur contained in ore or coking coal. Dust is produced during all stages of metallurgical processing (sintering, blast furnace stage, steelmaking, rolling production) and also in result of our coal mining activities, mainly during transportation and storage of coal. Volatile organic compounds are mainly associated with coke production.

EVRAZ recognises that its business activities produce a large volume of air emissions, and that these could potentially cause adverse impacts on human health and the environment. We implement best available technologies and regularly upgrade equipment, and in addition all emissions are frequently monitored in order to minimise the risk that acceptable limits are breached. The emission reduction targets are included in our Environmental strategy, according to which we plan to reduce atmospheric emissions from steel production by 33% and dust emissions from coal mining by 1.5 times.

To achieve the goals of the Environmental strategy, we implement a number of measures to reduce our air emissions. These measures include technical overhauls of our steel production facilities, commissioning of dust suppression units. We are also planning a number of projects aimed at modernising coke production in order to reduce air emissions.

Our key emissions include sulphur oxide (SOx), nitrogen oxide (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulate matter (PM). Total key air emissions in 2020 were down 5.3% against the 2019 level.

EVRAZ key air emissions breakdown, 2018–2020, kt
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EVRAZ total air emissions (including key emissions) from coal, 2018–2020, kt
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EVRAZ key air emissions, 2018–2020, kt
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EVRAZ total air emissions (including key emissions) from steel production, 2018–2020, kt
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Case study New dust suppression unit at Raspadskaya

A new mobile dust suppression unit was put into operation at Raspadskaya. The unit has a closed water-sludge cycle. Water within the cycle is replenished with treated wastewater, and no discharges are made into water bodies. The installation sprays a tiny stream (up to 30 microns) of water, and the range of the water jet is 90 metres and covers an area of 24,000 square metres. The dust suppression unit reduces dust emissions at the operation site by 85–90%.

New dust suppression unit at Raspadskaya

Case study Clean air

EVRAZ has continued to implement the Clean Air federal project, which is part of our national Environment project. In 2020, as part of the Clean Air project, significant measures were taken to improve gas purification systems at EVRAZ NTMK and EVRAZ ZSMK.

At EVRAZ NTMK the project involved an overhaul of Blast Furnace 6, a state-of-the-art environmentally friendly facility in Russia. Blast Furnace 6 has aspiration units that contain 34,560 filters designed to collect and purify air. It also uses a system that analyses over 12,000 indicators to select the optimal conditions and to manage manufacturing automatically. The system facilitated a 150 percent rise in gas cleaning. The project cost in total US$176 million (including US$10.7 million to upgrade the aspiration units). At EVRAZ ZSMK an upgrade of electrostatic precipitators at boilers 7 and 8 was completed, and for boiler 10 commissioning works were launched. The precipitators purify flue gases from ash when burning coal in boilers. As a result, dust emissions into the atmosphere of Novokuznetsk will be reduced by 10 thousand tonnes per year. Investment in the project totalled US$8.4 million for the past three years.

In addition, it was planned to build a modern facility for flue gas desulphurisation at the sintering plant of EVRAZ ZSMK by 2024. Due to the high sulphur content in iron ore, it is essential to ensure efficient gas purification at the plant. The planned facility will reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by 70%. In 2020 the main equipment was identified, and a project engineering contract concluded. Construction will begin in 2021.

Clean Air

To attain the Environmental strategy goals, EVRAZ implements various activities and investments, including those within the scope of the Clean Air project.

Case study Regina Reheat Furnace Low NOx Burners

Over 2018–2020 the EVRAZ steel mill at Regina saw a significant upgrade to the steel reheat furnace at its rolling mill. This furnace is used to heat new steel slabs produced at the steel mill, so that they can be rolled into sheets and then wound into new steel coils. As with all fuel combustion, the operation of the natural gas-fired furnace produces emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in its exhaust gas. Improvements included installation of low-NOx burners in the furnace, which was completed at the end of April 2020. An analysis of the exhaust gas indicated 51 grams of NOx per gigajoule (g/GJ) of fuel, satisfying the new Canadian standard of 60 g/GJ, and reducing the NOx emissions intensity from the furnace by around 50%. This will provide an ongoing benefit, by improving the air quality in the area with respect to NOx. The project required a total of US$14.36 million in investment.

Regina Reheat Furnace Low NOx Burners