SUEK-Kuzbass plans to invest more than $47m from 2017 to 2021 in a comprehensive environmental programme, which includes the construction of sewage treatment facilities and the implementation of a coal mine methane utilisation project.
Speaking to journalists, Igor Kharitonov, SUEK-Kuzbass Deputy Technical Director and Head of the Technical Department stated, "For 2017-2021, the budget for our comprehensive environmental programme stands at about $47m. It includes several items over the next three years for a total amount of $28.5m", adding that programme items comprise the reduction of emissions and effluent, land reclamation and the resettlement of 74 households located within the sanitary protection zone.
The company plans to complete the construction of treatment facilities at the Taldinskaya-Zapadnaya 1 mine this year. Representing an investment of $8.9m, the treatment facilities will purify both mine effluent and sewage. As highlighted by Kharitonov, SUEK-Kuzbass began implementing its first programme for the reconstruction of sewage treatment facilities in 2014 at the Rubana mine at a cost of $7.8m. The overhaul of treatment facilities at the Yalevskogo mine was completed last year and represented $2.9m in expenditures.
SUEK-Kuzbass will also continue implementing its project to utilise coal mine methane to generate electricity and heat, which began in 2009. The methane capture and utilisation project is currently ongoing at two mines, including the Kirova mine, where it completely covers the mine’s requirements for heat and 10% of its electricity needs, and at the Komsolomets mine. "Over the next five years, such projects will be implemented at the Polysaevskaya and Yalevskogo mines, where mining will have reached comparable depths and therefore offer similar coal gasification," he explained. The programme runs until 2021 and includes project designs and an expert reviews.
As detailed by the SUEK-Kuzbass Deputy Technical Director, from 2011 to 2016, more than $70m were allocated to environmental programmes. Overall, SUEK-Kuzbass invested $1.5bnover the last five year to develop production. During this period, it mined 160 million tonnes of coal, including 37.7 million tonnes in 2016.