First results of an independent assessment confirm stable situation in the Luga River: phosphorus levels remain low in Kingisepp, Russia
The first results of an independent assessment of Luga River phosphorus concentrations near the Phosphorit factory in Kingisepp, Russia, show that phosphorus levels in the river have remained at the same low levels measured in spring 2012 when a surface water runoff treatment system was constructed at the Phosphorit plant.
The first samples were taken by the independent expert in October 2013 and the second sampling took place on January 14-16, 2014. To ensure reliability of sampling, samples were collected jointly from the Luga River by two organisations: Russian governmental agency Hydromet and a British team from International consultancy Atkins. The samples of Hydromet were analysed in a Russian laboratory and the samples of Atkins in an accredited Swiss laboratory, SGS. A representative from the John Nurminen Foundation attended both occasions as independent observer.
The results of the duplicate sampling are comparable with those of Hydromet and show concentrations upstream of the Phosphorit factory of 0.020mg/l PO4 as P in October 2013 and 0.029mg/l in January 2014. The concentrations downstream of the site were 0.023mg/l in October 2013 and 0.033mg/l in January 2014. Phosphorus levels have remained at the same low levels that were measured in the monitoring organized by HELCOM in 2012, after the new treatment system was constructed at the Phosphorit factory in 2012.
“This project demonstrates our commitment to continual environmental performance”, says Vladimir Erlykov, Phosphorit Plant Manager.
“Following the launch of the Gulf of Finland Year 2014 just last week, this piece of news shows how good co-operation and joint goal can concretely help our common Sea. I hope that EuroChem’s rigorous execution of its corporate responsibility serves as good example for other companies by the Gulf of Finland”, says Marjukka Porvari, Director, Projects on Eutrophication, John Nurminen Foundation.
Atkins started its one-year consultancy assignment work in Kingisepp in October 2013 and will continue to monitor the phosphorus concentrations in the Luga River upstream and downstream of the factory for one year. The company will also assess the surface water runoff treatment system and calculate riverine phosphorus loads to the Baltic Sea.
Background of co-operation
In June 2012, EuroChem and the John Nurminen Foundation agreed to jointly appoint an independent organization to assess the effectiveness and sustainability of the surface water run-off treatment system constructed at the Phosphorit factory in 2012. Comprised of dams, storage ponds, a pumping station and a treatment facility, the system was constructed to purify phosphorus containing surface water run-off originating in the area adjacent to the production facility.
EuroChem and the John Nurminen Foundation have agreed jointly on the contents of the consultancy assignment with Atkins, which is fully financed by EuroChem. The parties will monitor the project completion together.
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Note to the editors:
EuroChem is a leading global agrochemical company, producing primarily nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers, as well as certain organic synthesis products and iron ore. The Group is vertically integrated with activities spanning from mining and natural gas extraction to production, logistics, and distribution. EuroChem is currently developing two sizeable potash deposits in Russia with its VolgaKaliy (4.6 mtpa) and Usolskiy Potash (3.7 mtpa) greenfield projects. Headquartered in Moscow, it operates production facilities in Russia and Western Europe and employs more than 20,000 employees globally.
The John Nurminen Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea projects improve the state of the Baltic Sea. Symptoms of eutrophication are many, for example, the blue-green algal blooms that occur every summer. The most efficient way to reduce eutrophication is to cut the phosphorus load entering the Sea. The target of the Foundation’s Clean Sea projects is to achieve an annual reduction of 2,500 tonnes of phosphorus discharges by 2015, which is one sixth of the total target set by HELCOM. The Foundation’s Tanker Safety project aims to reduce the risk of an oil disaster by introducing a new navigation service ENSI® (Enhanced Navigation Support Information) to tankers in the Gulf of Finland during the year 2014. The Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea operations are funded through private donations and public funding.