Archive

No. 1, 2005

Alexander Tsygankov,
Cand. Sc. (Chem.), Director of the Russian-Norwegian Clean Production Center

UNITY OF ECOLOGY


The Russian-Norwegian Clean Production program has entered its second decade

Drawing on Norway's experience

In the Russian Federation a transition to the clean production methods was started in 1992 within the framework of an intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Norway on cooperation in environmental protection. By that time, Norway had accumulated appropriate experience in this sphere, having developed its own original methods of clean production and introduced them at its industrial facilities. In 1990-1994, those methods were used in Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Lithuania. Later on a similar program was introduced in China.

In 1995, a meeting of ministers in charge of environmental protection in the European countries defined the notion of ecologically clean production as Oa continuous application of a complex preventative strategy of environmental protection to technological processes and products in order to lower risks to people's health and to the environment.O This definition reflected the experience which had been accumulated by the industrial countries in effecting a gradual transition of industry to a condition which ensured minimal damage to natural objects. These countries include the United States, Canada, Germany and Great Britain, as well as the Scandinavian countries, of which Norway has chosen its own original method of going over to clean production.

The Norwegian method envisages the advanced training of the greatest possible number of engineers and technicians in the fundamentals of transition to cleaner production. Under this method, company management make initial decision and then help their personnel accordingly. Later on, in the course of instruction, each engineer introduces resource saving and emission reducing measures on his own. Upon completion of the training period the engineer submits proposals the implementation of which requires moderate amounts ($50,000 to $300,000) and which are recouped within a period of two years.

Under the intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Norway and based on the experience gained, it was decided to introduce training programs at Russian industrial facilities. The project was to be started in 1994 and carried out with Norwegian assistance. A coordinating Russian-Norwegian Clean Production center was set up especially for that. Overall coordination is being carried out by a joint Russian-Norwegian commission on cooperation in environmental protection, headed by the appropriate ministries of both countries.

Actually, the Russian-Norwegian program comprises three training subprograms: Clean Production, Financial Engineering, and Facility Transition to the Modern Environmental Management System (EMS).

Within the framework of the Clean Production training course, a group of students from among the engineers and technicians of industrial facilities located in a particular area is being acquainted with the methods and principles of clean production elaborated by Norway's Union of Civil Engineers, now called TEKNA.

As a result, students acquire practical abilities in conducting a system analysis of the technological production links so as to ascertain the most economically effective ways of transferring their facility to the Omaximum economy of the natural resourcesO mode of operation, reducing industrial emissions and waste, and turning out ecologically cleaner products. Generally speaking, the students master the fundamentals of a market economy.

At the second level of instruction, students learn to draw up business plans conforming to the standards of international financial institutions. The Clean Production center conducts this work jointly with the Northern Ecological Financial Corporation (NEFCO).

Today, it is impossible for companies to enter the world commodity and services markets without adherence to an EMS, the requirements to which are laid down by the ISO 14000 international standards. Therefore, at the third level of instruction, students learn how to conduct preparations for the introduction of ecological management and ecological audit systems. Used at that level are study aids compiled with due account for the experience of introducing the EMS at Russian facilities.

Improving environmental management

The program of training in clean production is being implemented at many facilities of the Russian North-West, including JSC Severonickel,

JSC Apatity, JSC Pechenganickel, the Solombala, Arkhangelsk and Kondopoga pulp and paper mills, the national nuclear powered ship-building center, JSC Severstal, JSC Arkhenergo and JSC Komienergo, as well as food and utility industry facilities.

In the oil and gas industry the first stage of the Clean Production Program was organized in the period from September 1998 to January 1999 for the companies of Usinsk at the suggestion and with the assistance of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Republic of Komi. The student group included 20 specialists from JSC Komiarcticoil, JSC Komineft, JSC Severnaya Neft and other companies. The economic effect yielded by the measures proposed by the students exceeded $400,000. Drawn up had been about 40 investment proposals of every kind, ranging from small projects worth, say, $5,000 to large-scale ones, such as installations for the utilization of oil sludge and those for extracting iodine from

industrial effluents. Many of those proposals were realized later on.

In view of the difficult situation in Russia's housing and utilities sector, the Russian-Norwegian Center has, for the past two years, paid particular attention to it. Considering that each member of the Russian Federation requires specific solutions, in the Republic of Kareliya such programs were carried out on an interregional level, particularly in the cities of Sortavala, Kostomuksha and Kondopoga. In the city of Arkhangelsk the first stage of the Program was conducted at the request of the Mayor's office, and the second one was started in December 2004. In Murmansk, by agreement with JSC Kolenergo, the program was focused on heat producers. In the long run, this year's results will be used for elaborating the methods of introducing clean production in the Russian utilities sector. The very first results were discussed at a national conference of housing and utilities sector workers which was held in Yaroslavl and evoked great interest.

In December 2004, the Russian-Norwegian Center resumed its Clean Production Program for the oil companies in the Republic of Komi. The first session of the Program, which is being implemented jointly with the Komi Center for Clean Production and Efficient Energy Use, was held in Ukhta. Among the participants in the session were specialists from JSC LUKOIL-Ukhtaneftepererabotka and JSC Severgazprom, as well as from several other hydrocarbon producing and transporting companies. Held on the premises of Ukhta State Technological University, the session was also attended by the university's undergraduates (fifth-year students) who will be assigned to different companies to prepare their graduation papers that will include a section on clean production. It is expected that one of the results will be less oil sludge formed during well workover and oil pipeline rupture elimination, and longer pipeline lifecycles.

Summing up

In the ten years of its work the Center has provided instruction to more than 1,600 engineers from over 500 companies and facilities. An analysis of the graduation papers of Clean Production Program students, which was carried out by the Russian-Norwegian Center, has revealed that each ruble invested by Russian companies in a 6-month training of just one engineer brought back from two to five rubles.

The results of the decade that the Program has been in action allow us to make the following conclusions:

Firstly, at any facility the implementation of clean production methods makes it possible to carry out, on acceptable financial terms, cost-effective measures aimed at saving resources and energy and reducing polluting emissions.

Secondly, the introduction of ecologically clean production methods can form a real basis for gradually switching over to sustainable development of any facility, provided it has a modern environmental management system. For a region to switch over to sustainable development it is necessary that clean production measures be implemented continually and consistently at all facilities of that region.

And last but not least, an accelerated transition to clean production and an ecology-wise reconstruction of any facility call for continuously training engineers and technicians in this sphere and using their expertise to select and introduce the most effective projects evolved both in the course of Program implementation and subsequent action. These specialists, given their new environmental philosophy, will help pave the way to civil society in Russia.




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Oil of Russia, No. 1, 2005
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