Independent audit confirms reliability of the surface water treatment system near Phosphorit Plant in Kingisepp, Russia, and low phosphorus levels in the Luga River
As part of the joint project implemented by EuroChem and the John Nurminen Foundation, a UK-based team at an independent expert organization Atkins has conducted an assessment of the collection and treatment system for the surface water originating from the areas surrounding the Phosphorit Plant. The assessment confirms reliability of the system as well as low phosphorus levels in the Luga River, which enters the Baltic Sea.
Atkins accompanied Roshydromet, The Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, on four sampling visits to Kingisepp to review the sampling process and take duplicate samples from the Luga River for independent analysis. The joint sampling took place in October 2013, January 2014, May 2014 and June 2014, with the John Nurminen Foundation joining two of the visits as an independent observer. The project was sponsored by EuroChem.
The results of all four duplicate samplings, analysed by Roshydromet and independent internationally accredited laboratory SGS, show that the phosphorus levels have remained at similar low levels that were measured by HELCOM in 2012, after the Phosphorit Plant constructed the collection and treatment system for the surface water from the areas adjacent to the production site in 2012.
Atkins also conducted an audit of the system and calculated the annual phosphorus loads entering the Luga River. It allowed Atkins to make the following conclusions:
- surface water collection and treatment system has been performing effectively and reliably, with phosphorus concentrations being reduced considerably during the treatment process;
- phosphorus load entering the Luga River from the areas surrounding the Phosphorit Plant has decreased by as much as 40% since 2012 and now totals approximately 18.5 tonnes per annum;
- monitoring programmes conducted by Roshydromet and the Phosphorit Plant are of a high standard;
- water quality within the Luga River would now comply with “High” Quality Status under the EU Water Framework Directive.
“We are pleased with the results of the assessment. I would like to thank very much our partners from the John Nurminen Foundation and Atkins for the cooperation in this project”, says Vladimir Erlykov, Executive Director of the Phosphorit Plant.
“We are glad that our cooperation with EuroChem has resulted in a tangible reduction of phosphorus entering the Luga River”, says Marjukka Porvari, Director, Clean Baltic Sea Projects, John Nurminen Foundation.
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EuroChem Group AG 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 hydrocarbons extraction to fertilizer production, logistics, and distribution. EuroChem is currently developing two sizeable potash deposits in Russia with its VolgaKaliy and Usolskiy Potash greenfield projects. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, the Group operates production facilities in Belgium, Lithuania, China, Kazakhstan and Russia, and employs more than 22,000 people globally.
The John Nurminen Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea projects improve the state of the Baltic Sea. Eutrophication, evidenced by the blue-green algae blooms, is the most serious problem faced by the Baltic Sea. The most efficient way to reduce eutrophication is to reduce the phosphorus load entering the Sea. In 2004-2014, the John Nurminen Foundation has initiated about 20 Clean Baltic Sea projects in Northwestern Russia, Poland, the Baltic countries and Belarus, with 14 projects completed, and more than 2,000 tonnes reduction of the annual phosphorus load of the Sea. The Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea operations are funded through private donations and public funding.