Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groisman visited Azovstal Iron and Steel Works on June 1. During his visit, the head of the government had a look at blast furnace No. 4, the most innovative and environmentally friendly smelting facility in Ukraine. Enver Tskitishvili, Azovstal CEO, and Yuri Zinchenko, Mariupol Ilyich Iron and Steel Works CEO, have presented an environmental upgrade program for sintering and steelmaking facilities. Metinvest Group is set to allocate about $318 million to environmental projects in Mariupol within the next five years.
The large-scale investment program will help considerably improve the environmental wellbeing of Mariupol by 2022. The upgrade efforts will be focused on the sinter plant at Mariupol Ilyich and gas purification facilities in blast-furnace and converter shops at both steelworks.
Volodymyr Groisman also watched the operation of a state-of-the-art aspiration system installed in casting beds at blast furnace 4. The facility catches up to 99% of dust, helping the works meet European emission standards. The $90 million reconstruction of the facility fully prevents red fumes.
Ukrainian PM also met Azovstal’s employees to tell them about a draft pension reform and government’s plans to raise living standards in the country.
Enver Tskitishvili and Yuriy Zinchenko thanked Volodymyr Groisman for the support in efforts to resume Komysh-Zoria — Volnovakha railway section operation and discussed the current severe shortage of raw materials caused by the instability of railway services. CEOs stressed that Metinvest kept on increasing its investments in production and social protection of employees despite real challenges. Since June 1, the company has increased salaries by 20% across all businesses of the group.
Volodymyr Groisman: “I’m pleased that your company has made the decision to raise salaries by 20%. This is a good step in the right direction. At last we should bring Ukrainians back to Ukraine. We should bring them back, but slogans “Come Back!” alone will not help. We should offer good jobs and good salaries.”
Enver Tskitishvili: “Today Mariupol-based steel plants suffer a severe shortage of freight trains to receive raw materials and ship finished products. The situation results in the capacity reduction and downtime. Therefore, it’s vital for us to boost the capacity of Komysh-Zoria — Volnovakha railway section from today’s 17-18 pairs of trains to 26 pairs a day. We hope that Ukrzaliznytsia’s statements about significant increase in the section capacity will soon be put into practice.”
Yuriy Zinchenko: “Despite the crisis in the industry and big problems with rail supplies of raw materials, Metinvest is making unprecedented investments in the production upgrade and environmental protection. In particular, the reconstruction of the gas purification system at Europe’s largest sinter plant at Mariupol Ilyich Iron and Steel Works knows no equals in Ukraine. We will invest $220 million in this project alone to cut dust emissions 11-fold by 2020.” (SCM/Ukrainian metal)
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