Air, land, water

Without the air we breathe, the land we live on and build our houses, without water, which is an inseparable part of ourselves and without which we couldn’t live, our eco system cannot operate. All these resources are also necessary for our business. That’s why we do everything we can to use them responsibly and become their credible user.

Environmental investments

We like our region, we feel responsible for it and we are not indifferent to the environment. For this reason we thoroughly pursue sustainable development which is an integral part of our company management system.
In 2011 we built a state-of-the-art bag filter at sinter plant north worth of 1 billion CZK. In 2012 we desulpharised coke plant for more than 200 million CZK and in early 2013 we de-dusted lime routes at Steel plant with a bag filter. Also thanks to these investments we managed to reduce dust emission for the first time ever well below 1 000 tons a year though back in 2003 (acquisition of the mill by Liberty) emission reached 2 000 tons! Our total environmental investments soared from 2003 till 2013 up to 4 billion CZK. And in spite of the fact that since 2008 we have coped with the consequences of the global financial crisis.

In 2013 we kicked-off another phase of the mill’s modernisation and environmental investments which was completed in 2015. We have built a total of 13 subsidized environmental projects at a value of 2 billion CZK. Annually these new emission reduction technologies collect more than 520 tons of dust of chimney and fugitive emissions. And not only that the sinter plant south filters also collect polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon with high efficiency (above 99%) including benzo(a)pyren. In 2006 investments in billions pushed down annual dust emissions to 440 tons which is not even a quarter of the value in 2003 when Liberty bought the mill.

Dedusting technologies

We install the world’s most advanced technologies at our operations. In the steel sector these are bag filters which collect even the finest dust particles including benzo(a)pyren and dioxins. The EU mentions them as the best solution and considers them the best available technique (BAT).
The exhaust gas from operations is sucked off into the bag filter where it goes through tens of thousands fabric hoses which collect dust particles of all sizes. Dusted hoses are cleaned up on a regular basis by means of an air stream and the blown-out dust is transferred into a silo. Thus, the smoke rid of dust particles comes out of the chimney.

In 2015 several bag filters were installed at the mill. The most significant one of them is the bag filter for two sintering belts at the sinter plant south. The filter worth of 365 million CZK collects nearly 100 tons of dust a year! The remaining three sintering belts at sinter plant north have been de-dusted by a bag filter since 2011. It cost 1 billion CZK and reduced dust emissions by 270 tons a year.

Ecological limits

Industry in the Czech Republic is regulated in terms of emissions on several levels.
There is effective legislation. It is tightened up by regional integrated permits. Since 2016 so called best available techniques (BAT) are effective within the EU and sometimes they further reduce the already tightened-up limits. Since 2011, that is five years in advance, our company has met the most stringent values given by BAT.

Water resources

Water is necessary part of industrial processes. We use three kinds of water for our production activities that is drinking water, supply water and service secondary water. An independent grid is built and operated for each type of water.

Terminology

Sinter plant

An operation processing iron ore which is along with coal the basic raw material for steel making. The iron ore is being clinkered into sinter.

BAT

Best Available Techniques

Benzo(a)pyren

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon with five benzo(a)pyren circles. It is generated by insufficient burning at temperatures between 300 – 600 °C.

Dioxins

Organic compounds with chlorine content. They are products of insufficient chlorine substance burning. They can originate during natural processes too e.g. fires or eruptions. Dioxins are part of waste generated at blast furnaces and steel plant. We hand it over to a company authorized to handle this kind of waste.

Emissions

Polluting matters which are discharged from certain sources (exhaust pipes or factory’s and household chimneys) into the air. They are measured directly at the source.

Emission limit

The highest acceptable amount of polluting matters discharged from a certain source into the air. This limit is set in the Air protection act.

Emission ceiling

The highest acceptable total amount of polluting matter emission at a given spot over certain period of time. The emission ceiling is set in the integrated permit issued by the Regional Authority.

Power supply

TAMEH Czech s.r.o. – power plant and heating plant at the steel mill.

Pollutants

General quality of the air at a certain place which besides all other pollution sources is also impacted by disperse conditions or a geographical location. The amount of polluters which accumulate in the environment. Pollutants are consequences of emissions. Their concentration is lower and stable.

Pollutant limit

The highest acceptable level of pollution expressed in pollutant weight units per air volume unit during a normal air pressure and temperature.

Integrated permit

A document specifying emission limits for individual operations of industrial companies (it replaces several separate permits). It is issued by the Regional Authorities.

Coke plant

One part of a steel mill producing coke out of coal which along with the processed iron ore (see sinter plant) represents the basis of a blast furnace charge where pig iron is produced.

Best available techniques (BAT)

The most effective and advanced stage of technology development and asset operation which are suitable for prevention or emission reduction and their environmental footprint. These techniques are required by the European Union legislation which are effective since 2016.

Steel plant

It’s a part of a steel mill where the final production of steel from pig iron take place.

Sulfur dioxide

A colourless gas produced especially during sulfur burning. In nature it appears in volcano gases.

Dust particles PM 1, PM 2,5 and PM 10

Solid dust particles. They differ in size (fraction) – PM 10 are particles whose aerodynamic diameter does not exceed 10 µm etc.

Medium section mill

It’s a plant producing medium and fine steel section intended especially for buildings and constructions.

Bag filter

The best available technique for dedusting which collects even the smaller solid particles. They go through long fabric tubes which capture them. The tubes are shaken off on a regular basis and the particles are transferred into a silo. The bag filter represents BAT for dedusting.

Blast furnaces

It’s an operation where pig iron is produced. Then it goes on to steel plant where steel is made.

Blowing

The power plant boiler cleaning which follows major technological boiler adjustments e. g. after an environmental investment. Generated steam is used for cleaning the boiler through blowing. Throughout the blowing process the pressurized hot steam is discharged through interim pipelines into the air and pushes dirt out of the boiler e.g. remnants after welding.

All about blowing or when power plant cleans up its boiler

Why blowings are done?

The blowings or the boiler cleanings are always carried out in accordance with national standards after a major boiler adjustment. Operationally it is a very important part of the boiler launch – before commissioning it cleans up to a maximum level thanks to the blowings. The boiler needs to be clean before launch so that it does not blow impurities into the turbine. The mechanical impurities e.g. welding remnants, could make irreversible harm to the turbine and stop the whole energy production.

We carry out the blowings at the steel industry power plant because we successfully draw near to three boiler commissioning which are newly equipped with an environmental technology to reduce NOx emissions. How is such a blowing done?

The boiler cleaning is carried in two phases – first the boiler is cleaned by a chemical flush then comes the mechanical cleaning done by pressurized hot steam so called blowing. The boiler is set on full power, the generated steam is summoned and heated up then it is discharged through pipelines into the air. The blowing itself takes about 30-60 minutes and it releases up to 200 tons of steam! The steam represents clean water which takes the remaining impurities out of the boiler – e.g. welding remnants. The heat-up phase before the blowing itself takes about two hours and the cooling phase about an hour.

How many blowings have to be made?

The number of blowings is determined by the cleaning efficiency, at least three of them have to be made. In each blowing the size and number of mechanical impurities is detected. When the boiler is considered clean the blowings come to an end.