How ESG principles changing Tatarstan industry

Complex ecological permits can become a compromise between nature conservation and the development of plants. So far 10% of republican enterprises have CEPs

Less than a year remains for 300 Russian enterprises, which emit 60% of pollutants in total, to obtain an ecological permit. The deadline for the “List of 300" is January 2023, the rest need to make it until 2025. Now only 1% of objects the document in Russia. In Tatarstan, work is being carried out more actively — 10% of objects have obtained CEPs. This was discussed at the final board meeting of the Volga-Kama Department of Rosprirodnadzor. Which companies have proven environmental efficiency, what threatens those who do not obtain a permit on time — read in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Course for purity

The issue of combating climate change in Russia is moving on to more practical concerns. The state intends to reduce the negative impact on nature in the next few years, improve the quality of air and wastewater. The key year in the struggle for environment was 2019, when the law on environment was amended, obliging industrialists to obtain a complex ecological permit for 7 years.

This is a new document for the Russian industry and environmental legislation. It contains the entire list of mandatory requirements in the field of environmental protection for a particular enterprise.

“The document will allow the state to control enterprises that have an impact on the environment. These are metallurgy, chemical, mining, production of mineral products, disposal of production and consumption waste," Yaroslav Kabakov, the strategy director at Finam, explained to Realnoe Vremya.

The state has identified the list of 300 Russian enterprises whose contribution to total emissions is 60%. They must introduce modern technologies and apply for a CEP by the end of this year. The remaining ones — until 2025. After that, the owners will have to equip the sources of atmospheric pollution located at the facilities of the first category with an automatic control system for emissions of pollutants within four years.

A 100-fold increase in payment for the negative impact on the environment awaits the company without a CEP. And also getting into the top nature polluters.

240 objects in Tatarstan

In Tatarstan, 240 objects must receive an ecology permit by 2025. Among them — Zainskaya GRES, Aznakaevskneft, biological treatment facilities of Zelenodolsk, sewage treatment facilities of Almetyevsk, Nizhnekamskneftekhim (objects: first industrial zone, second industrial zone, landfill, BTF), as well as urban biological treatment facilities of Kazan.

“Ten objects of Tatarstan have obtained comprehensive environmental permits, two of which are in the top 300. I ask the heads of all enterprises to organise the necessary work. The obtaining process takes place by the single window principle, the application is considered by eight interested bodies," the head of the Volga-Kama Interregional Department of Rosprirodnadzor, Fayaz Shakirov, addressed the industrialists during the final board meeting.

Four objects of Nizhnekamskneftekhim

Nizhnekamskneftekhim, part of SIBUR, became one of the first petrochemical enterprises in Russia to obtain a CEP. We are talking about the second industrial zone. Currently, another application is under consideration — for biological treatment facilities.

“For the two remaining objects, the First Industrial Zone and the Industrial Waste Landfill, we are to obtain CEPs by January 1, 2025, but we set a goal to receive the document before the deadlines established by Russian legislation," Svetlana Yamkova, the head of the Environmental Protection Department of the Environmental Safety Department ar Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, told Realnoe Vremya.

Air pollution sources located at the facilities of the first category of Nizhnekamskneftekhim, according to the law on environmental protection, will be equipped with an automatic emission control system. Criteria for the selection of stationary sources and indicators of emissions, discharges subject to automatic control are determined by the government of the Russian Federation.

Petrochemists have previously identified three sources of atmospheric pollution in the first industrial zone, and one — in the second. These are process furnaces. Automatic means of measuring discharges will also be installed at the BTF-NKNH.

“In accordance with the current legislation, an automatic control system must be installed at the second industrial zone by 2025, at the first industrial zone and the BTF — approximately until 2026. Since the term of its installation is 4 years after obtaining a complex ecological permit," Nizhnekamskneftekhim notes. However, due to the approval of the instructions of the president of the Russian Federation following the meeting with members of the government in December 2021, the deadlines may be shifted earlier.

Tatneft is preparing documents

Two Tatneft enterprises also obtained CEPs: Aznakaevskneft and TANECO (main production site and industrial waste landfill). To understand the scope of the required documents: the application for obtaining a CEP and the materials attached to it for Aznakaevskneft alone barely fit into two boxes of printer paper. Now applications have been submitted from Nurlatneft, Bavlyneft.

Work is underway on the preparation of documents and other enterprises of Tatneft Group.

“In general, we plan to complete the work on obtaining the CEP in 2022. We will not wait until 2025," said Rinat Musin, who works at the company's Environmental Safety and Environmental Protection Department.

TAIF-NK oil refining company has also started the design and survey work to obtain the CEP. By law, the company must obtain a permit by 2025. Last year, an agreement was signed here to equip an automatic monitoring system for the source of pollutant emissions — the chimney of VA-301 technological furnace of the refinery shop No. 03.

The company also conducted a detailed survey of emission sources to develop a feasibility study of investments in the design and installation of automatic control systems for emissions of pollutants.

Reform is stalling

Obtaining a CEP, experts say, is a long and complex process, the mechanism does not work in full. In Russia, only 69 out of 6,900 objects have an ecological permit, that is, 1%. Tatarstan looks much better against the background of these figures, 10% of objects have obtained it in the republic.

Last year, 20 applications were received from the Republic of Tatarstan, 12 applications were taken into work, in eight cases they were refused at the stage of filing documents. Two objects were not issued CEPs.

“Only those enterprises where BAT has been applied will have the opportunity to obtain CEPs, and there is also no excess of the established standards for emissions and discharges. If compliance is not achieved, companies will need to develop a programme to improve environmental efficiency. It is being considered by the interdepartmental commission with the support of the Expert Community on BAT," said Vasily Filippov, the head of the Nizhnekamsk division of Rosprirodnadzor.

This year, the work on obtaining CEPs in Russia seems to be accelerated. Experts will observe a whole series of ESG transformations of industrial enterprises.

“The introduction of the best available technologies and environmental and technological modernisation, along with other measures, should indirectly help to reduce the total mass of emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere by 22% compared to the level of 2017. By 2025, there should be no cities left in the country with high and even more so very high levels of air pollution," Zufar Yunusov, a member of the regional headquarters of the Popular Front in the Republic of Tatarstan, they told Realnoe Vremya.

As for the results of the entire CEP programme, the expert notes, it is too early to talk about them — this can be done in 2025, when the deadline for flagships will just come. By 2025, all BAT reference books will be updated and new technological indicators will be approved.

Lilia Yegorova. Photo courtesy of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC