UC RUSAL Sustainability report 2016


Air emissions


Following the environmental policy, UC RUSAL implements activities aimed at reducing the negative impact on the ambient air.HKEx Appendix 27 KPI A1.

The objective of the Company is to achieve by 2020 air emission standards established by the law of the countries of operation of UC RUSAL production sites.


In 2016, total emissions of atmospheric pollutants increased by 8% over the previous period, amounting to 339.2 thousand tonnes due to the increase in carbon monoxide emissions of the Sayanogorsk aluminium smelter.

Emission trends by type of production (excluding greenhouse gases), thousand tonnes

The distribution of total emissions of pollutants by type of production remains unchanged – aluminium smelters account for the bulk of these. Their share remained at 73% during the reporting period. Alumina refineries, same as in the previous period, accounted for 8% of emissions, heat and power production for 9% (8% the year before). Other production (production of anodes, fluorinated salts, cryolite and others) ensured 10% of total emissions.

Among the pollutants emitted into the air by UC RUSAL production facilities, carbon monoxide emissions account for the largest share, which have the least significant negative impact on the environment. During the reporting period, this figure was of 218.5 thousand tonnes (199.6 thousand tonnes in 2015), or 64.4% of total Company emissions. Emissions of this pollutant increased by 9 p.p. compared to the previous period.

Emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere (without carbon monoxide), thousand tonnes G4-ЕN21, HKEx Appendix 27 KPI A1.1.

During the reporting period, aggregate emissions of other pollutants also slightly increased while maintaining the emission structure by type. Solid substances continue to hold the largest share (with the exception of benz(a)pyrene, solid fluorides, tarry substances) with 44.3 thousand tonnes or 13.1% of gross emissions, sulphur dioxide of 36.6 thousand tonnes or 10.8%, nitrogen oxides of 20.2 thousand tonnes or 6%, total fluoride (solid and gaseous) of 7.5 thousand tonnes or 2.2%, and other substances of 12.1 thousand tonnes or 3.6%.

During the reporting period, the Company continued to work on the retrofitting of the gas treatment centre (GTC) and basic equipment of production facilities, including the transition to the new technology of Clean Soderberg. HKEx Appendix 27 KPI A1.5, A1.6. This technology, developed by the Company's specialists, provides for the improvement of the design of the cell, which ensures that its high sealing capacity. With constructive changes, the reduction cell is opened for routine operation only twice every six days. The rest of the daily operations are carried out without destroying the cryolite-alumina crust through special hatches. This leads to a significant reduction of emissions of gases into the atmosphere. The implementation of the Clean Soderberg project continued at Krasnoyarsk, Bratsk, Irkutsk and Novokuznetsk aluminium smelters.


Novokuznetsk aluminium smelter

In the course of the retrofitting of the main production in portoom No 12 of the smelter, the experimental site was put into operation with six S8BME reduction cells working on Clean Soderberg technology. With the new engineering solutions, the cell records a smaller consumption of primary types of raw materials and electricity. After the technology is mastered, the two potrooms will be converted to the reduction cells operating with Clean Soderberg technology, the rest to the reduction cells with pre-baked anodes RA167. They will all be connected to the latest dry gas treatment centres. The full replacement of the reduction cells and gas treatment capacities is planned for 2019-2020.

Novokuznetsk aluminium smelter received the gold medal of the regional Industrial Forum, with the support of the administration of the Kemerovo region and the Interregional Association 'Siberian Agreement' for success in developing and implementing the latest environmental technologies.

One of the main projects aimed at reducing the technological impact of metallurgical production on the environment is the introduction of modern, highly efficient dry gas treatment. These GTC capture up to 99.8% of hydrogen fluoride and solid fluorides in the exhaust gases of the reduction plant.  In doing so, it is not only possible to reduce the gross emissions of the production facility but also to reduce the amount of waste from the gas treatment disposed at specialized landfills.

Bratsk aluminium smelter

In the reporting year gas treatment centres No 51 and 52 were put into operation. The use of foaming apparatus (wet cleaning stage) has also been resumed to better capture the pollutants of new plants. By the end of 2016, five dry gas treatment centres were already operating at the production facility. In 2017 the introduction of modern gas treatment equipment will continue.

Krasnoyarsk aluminium smelter

A unit to extract sulphur from the liquors of the gas treatment system has been introduced in industrial operation. This measure made the second stage of the gas treatment more effective, by making it the most effective among analogues. The unit considerably reduces the threat to the environment and also produces a marketable product – sodium sulphate.

Achinsk alumina refinery

A large-scale programme of reconstruction of gas and fume treatment equipment continued. During the reconstruction of the sintering kilns, wet gas treatment centres, which are used as an additional stage of cleaning, are mounted after electrostatic filters on all furnaces. This equipment will make it possible to clean up to 98% of flue gases and dust and to further capture up to 1.5 thousand tonnes of dust per year. In general, the emissions of dust of the sintering shop into the atmosphere should be reduced by at least 30-40%. During 2016, the Company introduced this installation on one furnace and began construction on another 10 furnaces. On 12 furnaces there will be installed 14 wet gas treatment units in total.

Mykolayiv alumina refinery

The modernised gas treatment unit has been commissioned at the third limestone bake oven. It has electrofilters that provide a 99.9% cleaning level. As a result, treated flue gases must go into the atmosphere, the dust remains in the electrofilter and is sent to mud disposal by air fluidization system. The production facilities plan to reconstruct another electrofilter on the second bake oven. Once completed, all furnaces will comply with the most stringent requirements not only of Ukrainian but also international standards in terms of particulates emissions.

The reconstruction of the gas treatment equipment has also continued on Kremny (Shelekhov) and Silicon Ural (Kamensk-Uralsky).

Silicon Ural

One of the main tasks of the reporting year at Silicon Ural was the erection of gas treatment facilities. More than 80% of the steel structures have been installed: smoke exhausters, most of the process equipment of the bag filter block and the pre-treatment of the exhaust gases of ore-thermal furnaces, the power supply system and the distribution substation.

Middle-Timan bauxite mine

In order to reduce the dusting during the mining and transportation of bauxites during the dry period, roads and waste dumps are irrigated with water.

Volgograd aluminium smelter

The evidence of the environmental performance of the smelter is the reduction of the environmental buffer zone, in some places up to 500 metres. The reason is the results of the studies of the concentration of harmful substances in the soil, which has been significantly reduced as a result of global emission reductions by the production facility. The new environmental buffer zone also takes into account capacity increases.

UC RUSAL production facilities pay considerable attention to the implementation of environmental monitoring activities. During the period of adverse weather conditions, a special regime of equipment is assigned to aluminium production and technology activities are carried out to reduce emissions. Atmospheric air monitoring is performed daily, including at night, on the premises of production facilities and in surrounding residential areas. Sampling and measurement of major contaminants are carried out. The results of the measurements will be transferred to the supervisory bodies.

The main effect of the reduction of emissions and the achievement of standards by the UC RUSAL production sites is expected after the implementation of the environmental measures planned for 2017-2021.