How TAIF-NK oil refining company minimises environmental risks
Russian environmentalists celebrated their professional holiday on June 5, World Environment Day. This day has a special significance for TAIF-NK JSC. Environmental safety and reducing the negative impact on the environment are priority areas in the company's work. The company objectively assesses and minimises environmental risks, investing heavily in improving the environmental situation in the region. Over the past 7 years alone, TAIF-NK has allocated more than 6 billion rubles for environmental protection and has implemented more than 150 environmental protection measures. Read more in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
New technologies and effective environmental policy
TAIF-NK JSC is one of the leading oil refineries in Russia. The company's product range includes 49 items. The main products are diesel fuel and straight-run gasoline, automobile gasoline, liquefied petroleum gases, jet fuel, and bitumen.
Consistently high product quality, competitive and innovative potential of the company are provided by new technologies and effective environmental policy. To minimise the negative impact on the environment, TAIF-NK JSC has developed a set of environmental programmes, for the implementation of which impressive financial resources are allocated annually.
For example, within the framework of the environmental programme Clean Water in 2017, all commissioning works for the reconstruction of the local industrial wastewater treatment plant were completed at TAIF-NK JSC. The total cost of the work amounted to 3,7 billion rubles.
Instead of morally and physically outdated equipment, modern local treatment facilities that meet the highest requirements were re-built and put into operation. The nature protection facility started working on the principle of a closed water cycle.
“Unique for Russia, the technology of multi-stage industrial wastewater treatment system using activated sludge in combination with mechanical filtration in a membrane bioreactor removes up to 99,99 per cent of petroleum products and other pollutants from the wastewater. All caught oil products without preliminary preparation are returned for recycling. Also, thanks to modern technologies implemented in the shop of local industrial wastewater treatment, we have reduced emissions into the atmosphere by 200 tonnes a year," said Ilmir Shafikov, the head of the Environmental Protection Department at TAIF-NK JSC.
It is symbolic that the landmark innovative project of industrial wastewater treatment of TAIF-NK JSC, based on advanced world technologies, was launched in the Year of Ecology. This approach is primarily a result of TAIF Group's management policy in the field of industrial safety, labour protection and environment, and it reflects the social responsibility of TAIF-NK in the context of solving environmental problems in the region as a whole.
A comparative analysis of the quality of treated water before and after reconstruction showed that the content of petroleum products decreased by 95%, chlorides — by 90%, sulphates — by 84%, suspended solids — by 99%, chemical oxygen consumption — by 77%.
Over 5 years of operation, the local industrial wastewater treatment plant has proven its efficiency, saving about 10 million cubic metres of river water.
“For the purposes of recycled water supply, we do not use river water from the Kama River, but collect our industrial and industrial effluents, clean them, and send them back to production. Excess purified water is drained into a common chemical contaminated collector belonging to Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC. The treated water dilutes the polluted runoff, thereby reducing the load on the BTF of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC," said Ilmir Shafikov, the head of the Environmental Protection Department at TAIF-NK JSC.
Unique five-stage degree of wastewater treatment
The local biological treatment plant of TAIF-NK JSC operates in an automated mode and can process 500 m3/h of various effluents. Industrial and storm water flows here through two branches. One stretches from the HRCC plant, the other — from the TAIF-NK oil refinery and part of the enterprises located on the territory of the second industrial zone.
First of all, the drains go into the pre-treatment unit. Here they are cleaned of large debris, part of petroleum products and mechanical impurities. At the output of this block, the content of petroleum products in the water is not more than 25 mg/dm3. For example, at old wastewater treatment plants, such indicators were achieved only at the last stage of treatment.
“Every day, twice a day, we take samples of the waste water received in the workshop. We study the composition of wastewater in the laboratory. If suddenly the results of the tests show an excess of standard indicators, we immediately go to the place where the water is discharged. We take samples again independently, if the results of excess are confirmed, we go to the plant management to adjust the production process," says Ruslan Valeev, the head of the local industrial wastewater treatment department.
After the pre-treatment unit, the effluents are sent to the physical and chemical treatment unit. At this stage, the wastewater is further treated from petroleum products using flocculants. At the second stage of purification, the content of petroleum products in the water is no more than 10 mg/dm3. Next, the effluents enter the biological treatment unit. Here, special bacteria get to work, which eat the remaining oil products in the water.
“In the biological treatment unit, effluents enter with a content of petroleum products of about 10 mg/dm3. At the output, we already have almost zero indicators. The technological process is fully automated. World's leading manufacturer — General Electric — was chosen as the supplier of the main volume of equipment for the biological treatment unit," Ruslan Valeev, the head of the department for local treatment of industrial wastewater, noted with pride.
The metamorphosis of industrial wastewater do not end there. Further, in the desalination unit, the water is purified from dissolved substances.
In the dewatering unit of petroleum products and sediments, the process of dewatering of watered petroleum products, sediments and excess silt formed during the water treatment process takes place. This reduces the volume of the resulting sediment by tens of times, as well as reduces the content of petroleum products in it, which greatly simplifies the process of its disposal. The quality of the dehydrated oil product allows it to be directly sent to the oil refining process without additional processing stages.
After passing all stages of purification, the crystal clear desalinated water is returned to reuse.
Reduction of air emissions by 5k tonnes a year
Another key area in the work of TAIF-NK JSC is the protection of atmospheric air. The company is implementing the large-scale environmental programme Clean Air to reduce emissions into the atmosphere.
“The Clean Air programme was launched at the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018. But we began to deal with this issue long before this order. In 2006, Tatarstan issued Resolution No. 569-R as of 2006, in which it was proposed to large industrial enterprises of the Nizhnekamsk industrial hub to reduce gross emissions by 20,000 tonnes, and TAIF-NK was also on the list of companies," says Ilmir Shafikov, the head of the Environmental Protection Department of TAIF-NK JSC.
Since 2006, TAIF-NK JSC has reduced air emissions by 33%, or by 5,800 tonnes a year. This was made possible thanks to the modernisation of production facilities, the introduction of modern eco-friendly equipment. A significant role in improving the environmental background in the region is played by the vapour recovery system. It captures hydrocarbons and returns them back to production.
In addition, since 2013, TAIF-NK JSC has carried out the following activities within the framework of Ecology national project:
- burners of technological furnaces were replaced with modern ones with low emission of pollutants;
- refusal to use liquid fuel at all furnaces of processing units;
- replacement of high-sulphur raw materials of the gasoline plant with low-sulphur raw materials of the HRCC;
- reducing flare discharges at refineries by using the gas of own generation instead of natural gas;
- convertion of tank battery to nitrogen cushion.
Also in 2019, a condensate treatment unit with a capacity of 1,62 million cubic metres a year was launched at the HRCC, which reduced the purchase of chemically desalinated water from the outside by using own purified condensate.
TAIF-NK has also achieved high results in reducing waste generation. Only about 1% of the company's waste is buried at the landfill, 99% is disposed of or sent for recycling.
The environmental condition is monitored around the clock by the sanitary and industrial laboratory of TAIF-NK JSC. Highly qualified specialists conduct operational and systematic monitoring of atmospheric air, and the purified, industrial, stormwater, and service water also falls under control.
“The Sanitary and Industrial Laboratory as a structural division of TAIF-NK JSC began its work in 2014. Thanks to this, there is no need to involve third-party organisations for monitoring environmental objects and conducting production control. Now TAIF-NK specialists can quickly respond and constantly monitor emerging disputes, as well as promptly and reliably provide information to regulatory authorities," said Ilmir Shafikov, the head of the Environmental Protection Department at TAIF-NK JSC.
In 2015, the laboratory was included in the national part of the Unified register of accredited testing laboratories of the Customs Union. And in 2018, it successfully passed the procedure for confirming competence and expanding the scope of accreditation for water and air control facilities.
Thanks to good financial support, the laboratory is equipped with equipment from leading domestic and foreign manufacturers. The latest equipment of the sanitary and industrial laboratory makes it possible to strengthen control over the operating mode of production workshops, to adjust the processing mode in a timely manner, and therefore to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Besides, thanks to the equipment, specialists monitor the quality of atmospheric air in the zone of influence of the enterprise and at the border of the sanitary protection zone.
The results of all analyses are entered into PI System, a real-time production information system that allows data on all process flows, including laboratory analyses, to be collected in a single format, stored and analysed.
EURO 6 — new emission standard
TAIF-NK JSC is always among the leaders in the implementation of environmental technologies and the quality of the produced fuel of the highest emission standard. In 2021, the company mastered the production of TAIF-NK EURO 6 diesel fuel.
This is a new environmental standard with an ultra-low sulphur content. It defines an even greater number of requirements for the exhaust gases of cars with diesel engines compared to EURO 5 standard. First of all, this concerns the content of sulphur and nitrogen oxides, which are released by diesel engines into the atmosphere.
By the way, not every company in Russia can produce such high-tech products. To do this, modern equipment, continuous improvement of technological processes and highly qualified personnel are needed — all this is available at TAIF-NK JSC.
The production of high-quality petroleum products and the improvement of quality characteristics, including liquid motor fuels, allows TAIF-NK JSC to solve the strategic task — to significantly improve the environmental situation not only in Tatarstan, but also in other regions of Russia.
“For many years, all the activities of TAIF-NK JSC have been aimed at improving the processes of processing hydrocarbon raw materials with the production of high-quality petroleum products, which directly contributes to the implementation of programmes for the development of the petrochemical complex within the framework of the Strategy of Socio-Economic Development of the Republic of Tatarstan until 2030 and the solution of tasks to form the foundations of regional competitiveness. And the company's investment projects contribute to solving most of the economic, technological and, importantly, environmental problems of the petrochemical and oil refining industries of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Russian Federation as a whole," says Maksim Novikov, the director general of TAIF-NK JSC.
105k seedlings on an area of 39 hectares
The employees of TAIF-NK JSC not only successfully master new types of products, implement environmental programmes, but also take an active part in city, national and all-Russian environmental actions.
Within the framework of the environmental campaign Green Wave alone, the company's employees planted about 105,000 saplings of oak and spruce on an area of 39 hectares. In a few years, a green forest will grow on this territory, which will saturate the environment with oxygen.
“Every year, the employees of TAIF-NK JSC are happy to take part in the all-Russian campaign 'Clean Coast' to clean the shoreline of the unique Lake Karakul in Tatarstan. Thanks to their efforts, reverent attitude to nature, dozens of bags of garbage were taken to the landfill. In the period of city subbotniks, the employees of the enterprise bring the order on the street of the native city. They collect last-year leaves, accumulated garbage, whitewash borders and trees.
The systematic work of the enterprise on environmental protection issues has been repeatedly marked by victories in the republican contest ECOleader. The company is a multiple winner of the contest '100 Best Organisations in Russia. Ecology and environmental management', and the products of TAIF-NK JSC won the competition '100 best goods of Russia'.
“For the next 5 years, TAIF-NK JSC has developed a plan of environmental measures for 2020-2025. Within the framework of this plan, 20 major projects are planned to be implemented. One of them is the design and survey works and developing working documentation for the installation of four automatic stationary atmospheric air monitoring stations. The company also plans to purchase a mobile environmental laboratory to strengthen control over atmospheric air pollution and quickly identify sources of pollution in the Nizhnekamsk and Tukayevsky districts of the Republic of Tatarstan," summed up the chief engineer of TAIF-NK JSC, Aleksey Khramov.