Starocemntny Plant Near Yekaterinburg Switched to Asbestos-Free Raw Materials
Olivine is traditionally used to manufacture refractory bricks. Synthetic olivine of the Starocementny plant is used for proppants production for oil and gas wells. Propants are produced by the Yekaterinburg company Fores, the main buyer of olivine at the Starocementny plant. A few months ago, the plant switched to natural crushed stone of the Kochkarsky deposit from the Chelyabinsk region.
“We used to work with crushed stone of the Bazhenovskoye field,” says plant director Andrei Zemtsov. — Such a production chain was built considering territorial interests, when production capacities were loaded up in the neighboring Asbest. This crushed stone was preliminarily pyroprocessed at the high temperature to minimize unnecessary impurities. The effectiveness of this technology was confirmed by appropriate studies and examinations. But the economy nevertheless forced us to search for new sources of raw materials.”
According to the head of the plant, the supplier (OAO Uralasbest) did admit earlier this year that crushed stone may contain up to 0.02% of chrysotile asbestos. In 2018 and 2019, studies in Sukhoi Log confirmed the concentration of chrysotile asbestos fibers in the air is hundreds of times lower than the health-based exposure limit.
“Based on this information Rospotrebnadzor insisted we take additional control measures at the transportation stages of crushed stone of the Bazhenovskoye deposit,” Zemtsov says. — Meanwhile our detractors and competitors began to blow the subject way out of proportion. Even though the same gravel is widely used for roads and other types of construction."
However, the Starocementny plant signed a long-term profitable contract with the owners of the Kochkar quarry, where asbestos is not even present. Therefore, in spite of the increased transportation leg, expenses for the purchase, delivery and processing of raw materials, as well as other supporting measures, were successfully reduced.
The Starocementny plant in the city of Sukhoi Log specializes in the production of seven grades of building and grouting cement. The company has five production lines with a total capacity of 700,000 tpa.