Commitment to sustainable development, integration of energy markets in the regions where the Company operates determine increasing importance of environmental aspects of the Group's activity for achieving strategic objectives. Environmental policy of Inter RAO Group defines the key areas to reduce adverse impact on the environment. It is one of the most important elements aimed to optimize the operation of subsidiary companies within the strategy of continuous value increase of managed assets.
Environmental impact management is based on using the international standard Environmental management systems – Requirements with guidance for use. In 2017, the recertification audit of the DQS certification body confirmed the efficient transition of the environmental management system of Inter RAO PJSC to a new version of the international standard ISO 14001:2015. The risk-oriented approach to assess environmental aspects and manage their impacts was introduced. The total number of power generation assets certified as of the end of 2017 is 97%.
To achieve its goals and deliver on its commitments in regard to environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources the Group adopted and approved the Target ecological program for the period till 2020 with a view to 2030. In order to implement the environmental program, measures in the following areas are taken:
1. Compliance with standards and obligations
- decrease in the share of polluted wastewater released into natural water bodies
- equipping all water intake areas with means for prevention of hydrobiological resources from damage in accordance with national regulatory requirements.
2. Environmental impact reduction
- increase in the share of coal-fired boiler plants with specific emissions of solid particles which correspond to the best available technologies
- increase in the share of power plants which correspond to target values of nitrogen oxide emissions
- all 1st category power plants with measuring continuous emission monitoring tools by 2030.
3. Reduction of economic costs and environmental risks
- maximization of the share of useful ash and slag materials
- decrease in the average annual fresh water industrial use.
4. Achieving the environmental agreement between stakeholders
- introduction of the environmental management system by a certified independent organization in all production subsidiaries by the end of 2030.
Compliance with legal requirements
To comply with changing requirements of dynamically developing environmental legislation of the Russian Federation and successfully implement objectives and areas of the Program, the system of internal regulatory documents on environmental control and environmental safety is improved constantly in the Group.
Employees of the Group monitor constantly changes in the environmental legislation, analyze drafts of laws and regulations on ecology and natural resource control, participate in public discussions of drafts submitted for consideration. Based on considerations of the drafts, comments and suggestions are sent to the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Economic Development as part of assessment of the regulatory impact from the drafts and public discussions of the drafts.
Measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Measures for increasing energy efficiency of the production and reducing specific fuel consumption, as well as introduction of new highly efficient equipment and decommission of outdated equipment – all these measures taken allow to reduce the volume and intensity of greenhouse gas emissions.
Thanks to the range of measures taken, greenhouse gas emissions decreased in the past years compared to 2015 and 2016 by 5.5% and 4.1% respectively. In 2017, gross greenhouse gas emissions of the Group were equal to 84.6 m tonnes. Specific pollutant emissions per unit produced decreased by 0.02 tonnes/thous. kWh.
Estimation of greenhouse gas emissions is an integral part of an industrial environmental air control system and it is carried out annually at all generating facilities of the Group. In 2017, greenhouse gas emissions accounting was conducted in accordance with the Guidelines and the Manual on quantifying the amount of greenhouse gas emissions by organizations carrying out business operations and other activities in the Russian Federation, as approved by the Decree of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation dated June 30, 2015 No.300.
Measures for reducing other pollutant emissions
Gross pollutant emissions decreased by 13 thousand tonnes compared to 2016 and by 69 thousand tonnes compared to 2015. The positive tendency of decrease in pollutant emissions in 2017 is resulted from measures taken in 2016, especially as follows:
- the effect from decommission of outdated inefficient equipment of facilities at Verkhnetagilskaya State District Power Plant, Cherepetskaya State District Power Plant, Yuzhnouralskaya State District Power Plant. Furthermore, increasing use of more environmentally friendly natural gas as an energy source is critical for decrease in specific emissions (the share of gas use in the overall fuel increased by 1.2% compared to 2016)
- reequipment of current electrical filters at TPP-5, TGC-11 JSC
- installation of low emission burners with graded upper air input at branches of BGC LLC
- equipping stationary emission sources with continuous emission monitoring systems in 2016 (the process was finished in 2017) at Karmanovskaya SDPP, Priufimskaya TPP, Novo-Sterlitamakskaya TPP of BGC LLC and Omskaya TPP-5 (TGC-11 JSC).
Persistent efforts were taken for atmospheric air protection in 2017. In the reporting year the following measures allowed to decrease pollutant emissions:
- reequipment of current electrical filters at TPP-5 (TGC-11 JSC)
- installation of low emission burners was continued in branches of BGC LLC
- a dust extraction plant of the boiler unit No.10 was reconstructed with installation of highly efficient 2nd generation emulsifiers at Tomskaya SDPP (TG JSC)
- decommission of outdated equipment was continued: two power units at Verkhnetagilskaya SDPP and three power units at Cherepetskaya SDPP were put out of operation
Use of water resources
In 2017, water withdrawal decreased by 2,248 m cu m., disposal of non-purified effluent and polluted wastewater from generating facilities decreased by 2.3 m cu. m.
The increasing share of reuse water and decreasing polluted wastewater disposal were resulted from the following measures taken in 2017:
- the project on purification and reuse of blowdown water for reverse water supply in the branch Severo-Zapadnaya TPP with current equipment
- modernization and reconstruction of cooling towers at Salavatskaya TPP and Sterlitamakskaya TPP of BGC LLC, TPP-5 (TGC-11 JSC), Tomskaya SDPP 2 (TG JSC)
- collection of clean technical and storm wastewater from the site of Priufimskaya TPP of BGC LLC for reuse (the project is on the completion stage)
- modernization of the water treatment plant with introduction of the reverse osmosis plant and the heat network make-up scheme at Priufimskaya TPP of BGC LLC
- finishing works on construction and putting into operation of new waste treatment facilities for production oil effluents at Verkhnetagilskaya SDPP
- implementation of the project on installation of tools for control over oil product content in water of cooling systems in branches Yuzhnouralskaya SDPP, Urengoyskaya SDPP, Iriklinskaya SDPP of Inter RAO – Electrogeneration JSC, as well as at Karmanovskaya SDPP (BGC LLC).
Water bodies with difficult environmental conditions are protected with an increased focus. Namely, the project on reconstruction of water treatment schemes for chemical treatment of water and purification of industrial wastewater is implemented at Kostromskaya SDPP. In 2017, the fishery research on assessment of the impact from operational wastes of the branch Gusinoozerskaya SDPP on water biological environment of the Teli River and Lake Gusinoye was conducted at Gusinoozerskaya SDPP located on the bank of Lake Gusinoye in the buffer ecological zone of the Baikal Natural Territory. In addition, station specialists monitor temperature conditions of the waste channel, quality of water withdrawn and released into the lake, on a regular basis.
Apart from the above-mentioned activities, companies of Inter RAO Group are making efforts to avoid the risks of petroleum products spill at the facilities: the oil-filled equipment is replaced with oil-free one. In addition, the implementation of this measure reduces fire hazard and ensures smoother operation of the equipment.
Efficient waste management
Solid substances released from coal combustion (ash and slag waste) is the main waste type at power facilities of the Group. Ash and slag wastes form over 98% of the total released wastes of the Group. According to legislation, Inter RAO Group develops drafts of standards for waste generation and disposal limits. As for environmental impacts, ash and slag wastes belong to Class V of danger, which means they make the minimal environmental impact. In 2017, the ash and slag volume at power facilities of the Group decreased by 10.7 thousand tonnes compared to 2016. At the enterprises of BGC LLC, the equipment for sludge dewatering during the mechanical treatment of natural water was installed, making it possible to minimize the negative environmental impact by eliminating slime water storage facilities. Solids obtained as a result of mechanical treatment are categorized as "Soil" by-products. It is worth noting that selective collection of certain waste types is introduced at power plants of the Group for further disposal.
In Inter RAO Group 22 generating facilities use water from surface sources for production needs. In order to compensate for the damage caused to biological resources, measures are taken to preserve biological resources and reduce the negative impact on water objects, in particular:
- 247.539 thousand young sterlets which are equivalent to 400 thousand units taking into account conversion of weight per unit and stocking efficiency (conversion is made by Perm branch of Federal State Scientific Establishment “Berg State Research Institute on Lake and River Fisheries” (GosNIORH)) were released into Kama Reservoir
- 1.9 thousand young carps were released into Iriklinsk Reservoir
- compensatory stocking of Cuciurgan Reservoir of Moldavskaya SDPP CJSC was conducted, namely: 9 million 720 thousand fish larvae were released (2.058 m grown-up zander larvae, 1.31 m silver carp larvae, 2.2 m grass carp larvae, 2.282 m roach larvae, 1.08 m bream larvae and 790 thousand crucian carp larvae), which is by 15% more than in 2016
- the complex electrical fish protection structure was put into operation on June 9, 2017 in the branch Permskaya SDPP, Inter RAO-Electrogeneration JSC. According to the project, the estimated average efficiency of the structure is equal to 85.
- the fishery research on assessment of impact from operational wastes of the branch Gusinoozerskaya SDPP on water biological environment of the Teli River and Lake Gusinoye was conducted. Temperature conditions of the waste channel are monitored on a regular basis.
- Nizhnevartovskaya SDPP was equipped with a deep scattering water outlet of storm drain pipe into the Vakh River, which allowed to minimize the negative impact from released lukewarm water of direct cooling systems on processes related to the loss of water biological resources
- measures for confirming efficiency of the fish protection branch Iriklinskaya SDPP of Inter RAO-Electrogeneration JSC, which are planned to be finished in 2018
- construction works in the fish protection branch Cherepeyskaya SDPP are in progress
- Angaro-Baikalsk Territorial Administration of the Federal Agency for Fishery (Rosrybolovstvo) confirmed 99% efficiency of the complex electrical fish protection structure in the branch Kharanorskaya SDPP
Measures are taken to restore fish stocks
- in order to exclude dead regions and fish kill in Cuciurgan Reservoir, measures were taken for water exchange intensification through water injected from the Turunchuk River in winter and water circulation into the reservoir with circulator pumps, which are not related to the production cycle, in summer
- in order to investigate causes of increasing pollutant concentration in Cuciurgan Reservoir and develop measures for minimization of the impact, Ecomonitoring LLC researched quality indicators of water, ichthyofauna, zooplankton, etc. during the year by order of Moldavskaya SDPP CJSC. The given recommendations will be used for further environmental measures.
In order to reduce the impact of noise on the environment and housing developments located in the vicinity of the Group's facilities, the Group takes measures for installing and renovating noise control systems. Noise can be generated by air intakes of blower fans, mouths of chimneys, the compressor room and steam emitted when boiler house equipment is switched off or during its start, etc. If the housing development is in the immediate vicinity of the plant, there is a risk of noise pollution. Assessment of the noise environmental impact and protection measures are determined in the course of designing facilities. Protection measures are taken in full when plants assets are constructed or modernized. One of the measures for noise protection near the residential area is the measure of Tomsk RTS JSC for additional sound isolating of the pump heat network building in Tomsk after pump replacement. In 2017, the following noise control measures were taken:
- mounting of sound attenuators on boiler units of Omskaya TPP-5 (TGC-11 JSC)
- mounting of noise screens for the cooling tower No. 2 and No. 3 of Omskaya TPP-4 (TGC-11 JSC)
- the sound insulation system for the gas pipeline of the boiler house No. 1 of BashRTS LLC, Ufa.