Ayrat Safin: ‘The new environmental programme has been adopted. This means we’re on the right track’

Nizhnekamskneftekhim to allocate a colossal 12 billion rubles to improve the environment in the region

World Environment Day and Ecologist’s Day are celebrated on 5 June. For Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, one of the largest European petrochemical enterprises, this day has a special meaning. Providing environmental safety has been one of the priorities of the company’s business since its foundation. The petrochemists took 61 environmental protection events whose financing totalled 828,1 million rubles in 2020 alone. The enterprise’s workers participate in environmental campaigns and support new volunteers. On Ecologist’s Day’s eve, the company adopted the fifth environmental programme that will allow reducing harmful emissions into the atmosphere, river water consumption and significantly improving the quality of life of Nizhnekamsk citizens.

Ecologist’s Day with Nizhnekamskneftekhim

Professional and young ecologists started to gather in Petrochemists’ Park at around 10 o’clock. The results of EcoSpring sanitary and environmental bimonthly campaign were summarised here with the help of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC and the Children’s Ecological and Biological Centre. The event took place from 1 April to 31 May. All urban educational establishments participated in it. On Ecologist’s Day’s eve, the most active schoolchildren received letters of commendation and prizes from the company.

“Nizhnekamskneftekhim organised this holiday with great pleasure. We prepared presents for the children. We hope the lads will be happy. Environment Day is celebrated around the world. We, adults, should hand over the baton to children so that they will know how important this holiday is for all of us,” noted Director of the Environmental Supervision of the Environmental Safety Office at Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC Yelena Galimova.

Students of several schools of the city became winners of EcoSpring sanitary and environmental bimonthly campaign at once. The lads took the activity seriously: cleaned up the territory of an educational establishment, forests, riverbanks. Hundreds of bags with waste, fallen leaves and woody debris were collected thanks to the young activists.

“We express our deep gratitude to Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC for the assistance in hosting this holiday, for support for all our creative ideas, environmental campaigns. Hopefully, we will keep working together for the good of the environment,” Director of the Children’s Ecological and Biological Centre. Guzel Khusnullina thanked the enterprise.

“I am proud of going to the Children’s Ecological and Biological Centre. We often clean up the forest, collect waste, take waste paper for recycling,” a student of the Children’s Ecological and Biological Centre Zarina Kalimullina joyfully told Realnoe Vremya’s correspondent after the award ceremony.

“Also, we collect old batteries, do an educational activity. It is useful to be a multifaceted person,” Maxim Zakirov, a student of Gymnasium No. 22, shared his emotions afterwards.

Tens of environmental campaigns and tonnes of collected waste

Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC not only actively supports young volunteers but also personally participates in environmental campaigns, takes care of the environment and does its best to save it. The petrochemists go for a clean-up almost every week. A big clean-up in Borki Dacha landscape landmark in Nizhnekamsk District is one of the most memorable campaigns. Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s employees went there together with teachers of the Children’s Ecological and Biological Centre of Nizhnekamsk and managed to collect 700 kilograms of waste within a couple of hours.

Clean Games is another environmental campaign that took place near Ilyinka village in Nizhnekamsk District. It was a competition in waste collection among enterprises and organisations. A team of petrochemists won it.

The petrochemists actively participate in urban greening of Nizhnekamsk, its suburban areas and settlements of Nizhnekamsk District and clean-up campaigns. So a compensatory seedling planting near Ishteryakovo village, Tukay District, took place in early May.

The seedlings were planted instead of trees that had been pulled during the construction of high-voltage lines and other facilities for the enterprise’s own energy plant CCGT-TPP, and two new trees were planted instead of one logged. 1,100 seedlings planted near Ishteryakovo joined 6,700 seedlings that were given life in compensatory plantings in 2019 and 2020.

In 2021, the enterprise has launched a project on separate waste collection — the petrochemists installed six reserve vending machines in the city’s schools the company sponsors and another two were placed on the territory of the enterprise. The reverse vending machine is a device to collect and recycle aluminium and plastic containers. For schoolchildren, interaction with reverse vending machines is a kind of game: they insert a bottle or can into the device and receive tickets that are counted in a container collection competition between classes and permit them to win prizes.

490 environmental protection measures in 7 years

The next environmental programme of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC ended last year, it lasted from 2014 to 2020. It is the fourth environmental protection programme of the enterprise adopted since 2001. Last year, the enterprise successfully completed it. 490 environmental measures for 7,96 billion rubles were taken in 7 years. Thanks to them, it became possible to prevent:

  • 3,600 tonnes of harmful emissions into the atmosphere;
  • 8,8 million cubic metres of sewage discharge into the water body;
  • 11,600 tonnes of harmful substances discharged into the water body;
  • 18,500 tonnes of non-recyclable waste, 46,500 tonnes of recyclable waste;
  • 39,200 tonnes of hydrocarbon feedstock, 12,200 cubic metres of river water consumption.

The reconstruction of biological treatment facilities (BTF) and the construction of a new 15-km long sewage tank have become the most significant projects in the last years. The launch of the new tank ruled out the risk of sewage ending up in the soil and water bodies, provided the reliability of sewage transportation from the industrial site to the treatment facilities.

The reconstruction allowed improving the quality of chemically contaminated sewage going for biological treatment further and the treatment of polluted air reaching required levels. A problem of unpleasant smells from the BTF and the sewage tank had been concerning Nizhnekamsk citizens for years: they felt and evaluated the result of the modernisation.

A significant environmental effect of a lower negative impact on the air was obtained when implementing a series of investment projects. From 2001 to 2020, commodity output in the enterprise rose by 64%, while gross emissions of harmful substances decreased by 63,9%. The share of emissions of the joint-stock company in gross indicators of enterprises in the Nizhnekamsk Industrial Hub went down too: if it was 50% 15 years ago, in 2005, in 2020, it amounted to 33%.

Over 12 billion for environmental protection

The petrochemists aren’t going to stop here. On Ecologist’s Day’s eve, it became known that the company adopted a new environmental programme designed from 2021 to 2025.

“We are very glad we have adopted the fifth environmental programme. It has big financing and a long list of works. The digit is huge — over 12 billion rubles. The financing of the previous one was more than 7 billion, and it proved its effectiveness, necessity. We see it in the reduction of emissions and river water consumption,” stressed Director General of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC Ayrat Safin.

He noted that 2020 became illustrative for the company. The population’s complaints about emissions into the atmosphere decreased about four times, while none complaint was about the activity of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC.

“The new environmental programme has been adopted, this means that we’re on the right track. We will completely fulfil this programme,” Ayrat Safin told journalists.

The fifth environmental programme is just a small part of the activity done by Nizhnekamskneftekhim in environmental protection, noted Vice Director General of Energy and IT at TAIF JSC Ruslan Gizzatullin:

“Here we can cite a series of areas to make eco-friendly products, it is the so-called green rubbers to produce green tyres, reduce the carbon footprint. All this work pleases both me as a member of the Board of Directors and my colleagues. This is a systemic work set up at Nizhnekamskneftekhim for the company’s sustainable development. It inspires hope that besides the growth of production, economic indicators, the quality of life of citizens, workers of the company and residents of all Tatarstan will grow.”

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By Lilia Yegorova. Photo courtesy of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC