What is our business?
Answer: We are aiming to implement the project for the production of electrolytic metal manganese (EMM), the product which is very important for the domestic metallurgy and for smelting of high – alloy steels. Besides, the product of our company will be competitive on the international market.
The resource base of our project will be the Usinsk deposit of manganese ore. The plant for the production of manganese will be built in the Republic of Khakasia, near the village of Tuim. Manganese will be produced with the help of the most advanced technology – the safest and ecologically friendly.
How do we operate?
Tell us about your manganese production technology. What makes it safe?
Answer: The ore which is extracted on the Usinsk deposit will be processed on the Usinsk Mining Processing Plant (MPP). The territory is not surrounded by any community, it is not a part of the specially protected natural area. The are no objects of cultural and historical heritage. All of these make the Usinsk MPP optimal for primary processing of the ores and for the production of manganese concentrate. On average, in order to produce one ton of manganese concentrate we should process 1,8 tons of ore.
Then, the following manganese concentrate will be sent to the EMM production plant near the Village of Tuim, Shirinski region, the Republic of Khakasia. The transportation will be made with the help of special vehicles, which will ensure the full isolation from the environment.
The supply of the plant will be the concentrate, not the pure ore. Metal manganese will be produced without melting furnaces and emissions. According to the preliminary data submitted by the company Sinosteel, in order to produce one tonne of EMM with a manganese content of 99.8% it will require about 4.5 tonnes of manganese concentrate produced in the Usinsk MPP.
Are there similar plants in the world working on the same technology? How effective is the environmental protection there?
Answer: These plants are located in China, which accounts for 98% of the world production of electrolytic manganese metal. Production is concentrated in the southern part of China in Hunan and Guizhou provinces (there are about 50 plants).
For more information about the market for manganese metal you can read the materials of the open 41st annual conference of the International Institute of manganese (http://www.manganese.org/events/imni-event/2015-imni-41st-annual-conference).
Our company is planning to organize a trip for Khakassian public representatives, so that they are not only on words, but also personally get convinced regarding the environmental safety of the plant.
In addition, a similar plant for the production of manganese metal is now designed in North America, one in Arizona in the United States http://www.americanmanganeseinc.com); another is in New – Brinswick in Canada (http://www.mincoplc.com/projects/woodstock-mn-new-brunswick/).
When is the planned opening?
Answer: Unfortunately, the process of construction of the plant is rather long. It is expected that the commissioning will take place 45 months after the start of the project financing. Construction will begin only after obtaining all necessary permits, conducted through a thorough examination, including both independent and federal. In addition, the environmental impact assessment (EIA) will be carried out, then the State Ecological Expertise and finally Glavgosexpertiza of Russia. It takes more than a year.
Why are Chinese involved in the project?
Answer: In Russia, the production of electrolytic manganese metal does not exist, and there is no need to “reinvent the wheel”. 98% of the world production of this product is placed in China, so CHEK-SU held a tender for the construction of the plant among the leading Chinese companies. In addition, the involvment of Chinese companies will resolve such an important issue as the financing of the project. Indeed, in terms of anti-Russian sanctions Western financial markets are closed for Russian banks. If the plant is being built by a Chinese company, will be able to attract loans from Chinese banks to finance the construction.
How are we going to protect the environment?
What is the influence of the plant on the environment?
Answer: Production of electrolytic manganese metal, due to technological features does not produce any emissions of harmful substances. At all stages of production comply with the modern requirements and monitoring instruments, which are designed to control the impact on the environment.
The plant will operate under the scheme of water recycling, that has absolutely no liquid effluent. All air emissions up to the ventilation air from all the industrial units will pass through a complex purification system. We care about the environment and understand the degree of responsibility to the public. In addition, any excess emissions could lead to a halt of the business and prosecute its owners.
The sanitary protection zone of 1 km will be set up around the plant. Outside the zone, the company will not have any negative impact on people and nature. The plant itself will be built 2 km northwest of Tuim.
We are confident that our project will be a pride not only for CHEK-SU, but for all the inhabitants of Khakassia. To create effective mechanisms to control emissions of future plant we are going to spend as much time as possible on open discussions and on the technical specifications for the development of environmental impact assessment (EIA) and take into account all the comments of stakeholders regarding the results of public hearings on the EIA materials. In our view, such a procedure would allow us to establish an effective dialogue between investors, local communities and authorities at all levels.
How will the operation of the plant influence on resorts in Shira?
Answer: the Plant will not have any negative influence on the environment and will not harm the ecosystem of the resort area near the Shira Lake, which is 20 kilometers away from the planned factory site.
Do you cooperate with environmental organizations in Russia and abroad?
Answer: Our company is open to a constructive cooperation with environmental organizations. In particular, we support dialogue with the regional public organization “Ecological safety of Khakassia» (http://ekobezopasnost-khakasii.webnode.ru), in particular with Kardash V. A. We provide the answers to her questions and comment on her remarks about our project.
In addition, we have long and successful cooperation with the International Institute for Manganese (International Manganese Institute, http://www.manganese.org). Its main objective is the development of manganese sector by promoting economic, social and environmental responsibility and self-sufficiency of all stakeholders.
Why does the company involve ecological experts from Moscow? Since there are some good regional.
Answer: On this project, we need highly competent ecologists, wherever they may be. We are open to have a dialogue with local experts, to cooperate actively with them, to answer to their questions and to comment on their remarks.
At the same time, we can trust to process the environmental impact assessment of such a large project only to specialized organization with extensive experience in the mining and metallurgical sector.
The team of ecologists have specialists at a federal level. Among them there are some Siberians, who are for obvious reasons are not indifferent to the question regarding the influence of the proposed activity on the environment. The team has already visited Tuim and Usinsk deposit for the independent environmental assessment of the project.
Another goal of the environmentalists is to inform the public, representatives of the environmental community and other interested parties regarding the real state of the environment in the places of the planned activities of our company and its impact on people and the nature in the future. The examination results will be published and we will plan its future activities accordingly.
What expertise should be performed for the project? At what time the first results can be expected?
Answer: The EIA materials with respect to Usinsk MPP have been developed and presented to the public in 2010. Public hearings on the EIA of Usinsk MPP were held on 25.12.2010, in the House of Culture of Lenin, which is located at: Mezhdurechensk, pr. Stroiteley, 10. The final version of the EIA was submitted for review to all interested persons in the office of CHEK-SU in Mezhdurechensk, ul.Yunosti, d. 10, office 106, as well as on the company’s website at: www.cheksu.ru
Project documentation of Usinsk MPP has received a positive conclusion at the federal level – in the FAA “Glavgosexpertiza of Russia.”
EIA in relation to a plant for production of electrolytic manganese will be developed, agreed and inspected in full compliance with Federal Law №174 «On Environmental Review”. According to preliminary plans, the materials will be developed within 6 months from the beginning of the project financing.
In order to reduce credit risk in terms of the expected impact of the project on the environment, according to the decision made by the Supervisory Board of SC “Vnesheconombank”, currently carried out by a specialized organization of independent environmental assessment of the project (including all the objects: Usinsk MPP, road, plant). Recommendations resulting from the independent environmental impact assessment will be taken into account when developing the EIA materials for the plant, as well as the formation of the monitoring programs for the state of the environment in the area of the facilities of the project.
In parallel to the independent environmental impact assessment on the basis of the Federal Law of 26.12.2008 №294-FZ “On the Protection of the Rights of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs in the exercise of state control (supervision) and municipal control” this year we planned documentary and site inspection activities from the Department of Rosprirodnadzor in the Siberian Federal District.
Who and will control the ecology after the construction of the plant?
Answer: Control over the environment and the implementation of the emissions from the state enterprises is performed by several departments: Rosprirodnadzor, Rospotrebnadzor, Rostekhnadzor, the Federal Agency for Fishery, etc.
All of these agencies carry out systematic control of the planning and conduct of unscheduled inspections at receipt of relevant applications of citizens. Rospotrebnadzor can arrange stationary post border control of residential areas or a sanitary protection zone.
On the part of the enterprise, the following control measures (depending on the recommendations of Rospotrebnadzor) on the border of the sanitary protection zone can be arranged: stationary post monitoring of air quality, the company must always act in a mobile laboratory, carrying out systematic measurements of air quality. Depending on weather conditions and many other activities that will be provided at the stage of development of design documentation.
In addition, we are ready to provide information on plant emissions to the members of the public.
Work in CHEK-SU
How many jobs will be created after the start of the project and what the average salary will be?
Answer: According to preliminary data, the total number of employees at the MPP and the plant will be about 1,600. For the operation of the enterprise we will formed full staffing for all employees from a simple worker to the director of the company.
In accordance with the business plan, the average salary will be about 40 000. It will be adjusted to reflect inflation bias.
When will the first jobs for locals be created?
Answer: Currently, CHEK-SU puts forward the resumption of the project financing by Vnesheconombank, then, obviously, will need to expand the State of the subsidiary, and then there will be an opportunity to discuss issues of employment of local residents.
Will the Chinese work on the plant?
Answer: At the stage of commissioning and setting up of the production facility it is required that a sufficient number of Chinese specialists train our local staff and continuously instruct the technical management of the company and local steelmakers. In the future, the work of Chinese experts in the enterprise is not planned.
Do you plan to train your future employees?
Answer: For training of individual specialists there will be a special program of vocational training formed with internships in existing plants in China. We will also work with the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Education of the Kemerovo region and Khakassia, the authorities which involved in the organization of training for our project. There will also be developed special courses and training programs with local universities that will prepare future employees of the plant. Naturally, priority in employment will be among local residents.
How do you plan to ensure safety? How harmful will it be to work on the plant?
Answer: The technology of production at our plant is more secure than other methods of producing steel products, but safety will be ensured at the highest level. The workshops will be equipped with modern means of ventilation and gas cleaning in compliance with all standards of environmental and health legislation. On the premises the means of instrumental measurement and control of emissions online will be installed.
What benefits the local regional community will gain?
Answer: After the MPP and the Plant are opened they will create more than 1600 jobs, and infrastructure in the settlement of Tuim. Around the plant public service businesses, shops, gas stations, repair shops, etc. will inevitably arise
The increase in tax revenues in the budget of the district and the region is expected at the time of construction, which is about 1.5 years after the start of the financing. Contractors who work in the Kemerovo region and Khakassia, must register a separate entity at the place of activity, which will add on the regional tax effects.
According to preliminary calculations, after the release of the company at full capacity in the budgets of all levels is planned to transfer about 1 billion rubles of tax payments. In addition, the company will transfer to the budget cost for land use and environmental charges.
In addition, the company is developing a social program to address the problems of local people. It will be agreed with the administration of the Kemerovo region and the Government of Khakassia. Already, the company received assistance from the local school, kindergarten and music school.
Does CHEK-SU donate to any charity?
Answer: Despite the difficulties encountered (in particular, the absence of revenues from the project), our company has participated in many financial issues of local importance. For example, we have provided financial support to the school in Tuim, participated in the organization of the celebration of the Day of Metallurgist in the Shira district, last year we worked on the improvement of roads in s. Tuim and after the disaster in April, we helped fire victims in Khakassia.
Later, as the project progresses, our company will conduct charity work systematically on the basis of the agreement on social and economic cooperation, which we plan to conclude with the local authorities. We will in fact show that we are not indifferent to the problems of the regions where we do our business in.
When the road from the Usinsk deposit to the existing highway in Khakassia will be built?
Answer: We have provided a year-round travel to Usinsk deposit.We have already built about 90 km of the road from the village of Berenzhak in the southeast of the Usinsk deposit. Machinery and equipment on the MPP site can already begin the construction.
After the start of funding, and we expect that this issue will be resolved before the end of 2015, we will resume work on the road. Because it makes no sense to rush to finish the track into operation before the beginning of work on major production facilities, we plan to finish the road in 2017.
In the meantime, the active construction does not start, anyone can pass on this track and evaluate the results of our work. We recommend making a stop near the medical anthill and silver river that hits the rock.
Public opinion and the media
What is the opinion of the residents of Tuim on the plant construction?
Answer: Every resident of Tuim is aware of the plans to build the plant. In September 2014 from 209 people who came to the public hearing, 203 people supported the idea of building a plant. We also plan to organize a public hearing area-wide. In the future there will be more of similar events.
Who, in your opinion, is beneficial forcing a hysterical atmosphere around the construction of the plant in Khakassia?
Answer: It is safe to say one thing – in Russia we do not have competitors, because the metal manganese in our country is simply not produced. In addition, the Usinsk deposit is the Russia’s only commercially important deposit of manganese ore. It is possible that this hysteria comes from abroad.
We can not judge the motives of the critics of the project in each case, but our experience suggests that the negative attitude often hides the material interest of the pseudo-environmentalists. Sometimes the situation around the construction of industrial facilities comes from political speculations due to election cycles.
In some cases, unverified or false information deliberately spreads in the media. Thus, the Information Agency “Khakassia” in the person of its leader Valentina Ustyahinoy who offered CHEK-SU commercial services on the coverage of our project. CHEK-SU has decided not to enter into a commercial contract with the Agency of Khakassia, and soon online publications started appearing regular publications giving no substantiated negative assessment of our project. Now Khakassia agency refuses to respond to the information provided to us. From this we conclude that the purpose of this publication is not to provide objective information to its readers. However, the readers are not familiar with overtones of articles, which reinforce the negative attitude of the population to the project.
It is also necessary to take into account changes in the social structure that have occurred since the fall of the Soviet Union. Since then, employment in the manufacturing sector declined, so related to the development of industrial production are often formed by people far from this area and do not have sufficient expertise for an objective analysis of each specific situation. However, their views are widely distributed, mainly through the Internet. As a result, there is an skepticism among the population, and sometimes gives a negative attitude to any industrial construction.
Changing these attitudes is an important state problem, this is a task for all of us. The importance of natural resources and industry in our country is difficult to overestimate. Without the promotion of basic industries we can not develop our economy. Stake out the competition with the geopolitical rivals without progressive industry is impossible.
Everyone has the right to worry about their health in connection with the planned construction. We fully understand this and will do everything possible to help with reputable environmental specialists to prevent all possible environmental risks even before the start of the project.