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Channel energy on the necessary track


New version of the Environmental Code provides introduction of the best available techniques. International Center of Green Technologies and Investment Projects (ICZTIP) develops reference books on BAT, that will reflect technological and managerial approaches to regulate emissions into the environment. Lyubov Molchanova is one of the experts who involved in the development of the sections of the Handbook, which will cover large installations of combustion of various types of fuel, is the environmental expert. In an interview, she spoke about the importance of BAT handbooks in the environmental regulation system in Kazakhstan.

Lyubov Mikhailovna, thank you for giving a consent to the interview. You are a highly reputable environmentalist  with a considerable working experience. You have also participated in the development of the norms in the new Environmental Code. For sure, you know firsthand about the best available techniques.

Could you tell us how important is it for Kazakhstani industry to introduce BAT? Why is it necessary now?

I think  the decision to introduce BAT was taken with a delay, because technologies in Kazakhstan are lagging behind. It would be better if we had new technologies in all industries. We do not have efficient  purification methods, there are no modern methods of installations, gas cleaning installations and there are no funds for their implementation either.


In order to switch to the principles of BAT, it is necessary to develop reference books on BAT. Tell us briefly about what is the purpose of these reference book is, mechanism of their implementation, and  expectations?

The main purpose of the reference books is to reduce the negative impact on the environment, to switch to standardization of emissions at the technological level. If  rationing was carried out mainly on the basis of the priority of environmental quality before, now the rationing of technological emissions is coming to the fore. The level of emissions will determine the reference books for each technological process. It will focus on the availability of technology, minor impact on the environment and, on the economy factor. All three whales must be taken into account in this matter. This will be the best available technique.

You are one of the experts involved in development of the Burning Combustion Reference Book.  Please, tell us about the importance of this area.

In 2007, a technical regulation (the first document) was adopted. It defined the requirements for emissions, and established the first stage of technological rationing. Technical Regulation determined  allowed capacity for emissions of sulfur, dust, nitrogen dioxide. It  regulated both, existing boilers and reconstructed installations and new ones.

 But today is 2021, a lot of time has passed since that year, new approaches are required, new technologies have been created, which  make us to find modern solutions and approaches to be adapted. Energy is a multitasking industry. Fuel combustion plants counts 40% of hazardous emissions.

Our main resource is Ekibastuz coal, it counts 70% of energy production, which, takes into account its characteristics, requires other approaches. We understand that power plants equipments are quite old, put into operation 40-60 years ago, so the decision must be taken with a compromise, based on the service life of this equipment and how efficiently it is equipped with modern gas cleaning units. This is a difficult task. In my opinion, a gradual transition is needed, such a task cannot be solved rapidly. Europe spent over 20 years, and you know that their economy is quite developed. Therefore, I think the most important thing in this process, as they say, is "not to break the wood."

What can we expect from the developed reference books?

First, there will be a new approach and emission regulations based on technological standards. The most important task is to prevent and reduce negative impact on the environment, not only to reduce it, but also to constantly control it. The handbooks, in addition to technologies, will regulate issues, determine which installations will be covered, which will need continuous monitoring, for which installations periodic instrumental monitoring will be sufficient, since the current level of monitoring leaves much to be desired. I think the introduction of automated systems will allow us at the first stage to determine what we have at the present time and then move in the right direction.

Could you tell us about the experts involved in the development process?

International Center of Green Technologies and Investment Projects (IGTIPC) has attracted a qualified  team of experts to develop this Guide. It is a great honor for me to work with such a team. This is  a Doctor of Science Kalkaman Suleimenov, who is developing new technologies for burning Ekibastuz coal in a circulating fluidized bed and defended his doctoral dissertation on this topic. Valeriy Ogay, a teacher at the Almaty Power Engineering Institute - we are all his students. I am glad that Andrey Kibarin, the head of the Department of Heating and Power Engineering, is also in our team.

What's your methodology?

As you know the industry is vast. In order to choose the path, we need to decide where we are now, we need to collect more initial data on the individual emission indicator, at boilers, stations. In this regard, the work carried out by IGTIC, the collection of initial data through a comprehensive technological audit of enterprises and the processing of the collected information, has a great importance to develop high-quality Kazakhstani Reference Books. A lot of information needs to be collected, first of all, on what specific emission indicators are currently available at stations, various boilers. We have almost 400 installations, we counted installations with a capacity of 50 megawatts and more. These are the settings that Reference Books will cover. The first task is to determine the current level of emissions accurately, to conduct monitoring, since this is an expensive equipment and it is necessary to use it precisely for those installations that need it. Moreover, one of the priority tasks is to choose the right technology. Currently,  we have collected technologies that are used at the stations. There is an international list, but the extent to which the technologies indicated in the list are implemented in Kazakhstan will be decided at the further stage of our joint work.

How long does it take to develop the Reference Book?

That's a very complex question. I think it will take not less than a year. Moreover, the development of the Reference Book itself was preceded by a huge preparation process carried out by IGTIC, starting from the analysis of international experience, the assessment of the readiness of our enterprises, the collection and analysis of the necessary initial data and the development of draft regulations. For this reason, the discussion with all enterprises is necessary. Now IGTIC is creating working groups with which all these decisions will be widely discussed. I think this will be rather  a complex discussion process, which should be properly structured in order to embrace a broad discussion of all interested parties. It requires tremendous efforts and a complex of work carried out by IGTIC to organize such a multilateral process and an open platform. In 2007, when drawing up a document on technical regulations, I went this way, and I know what it is. Transition to to something new one is always difficult. We will have to break something, rebuild something somewhere, but, and most importantly, it is the matter of financing. The work carried out has shown that in Kazakhstan the technologies that are in Europe are already existing at 50-70%. For us, there are no such discoveries here, especially in district heating, combined heat generation, we have this system widespread in Kazakhstan, which makes it easier to reduce the burden on the environment. The only thing is that we do not have high-quality gas cleaning units.

What is needed to develop a domestic Reference Book , taking into account the laboriousness and such complex procedures in your opinion? Indeed, developed countries already  have reference books, we can rely on international experience.

I believe this is a mandatory process. As I said, it primarily depends on the economic development of the country. If we use European technologies, all our energy will sink to the bottom in the nearest future. Because we do not have financing mechanisms, there is no possibility of introducing these installations, since old stations, wetched sites, universal coal. Therefore, there must be an individual approach. It is the purpose that reference books are being developed. This is a complex of social, environmental and financial issues. Yes, we all want to have clean air, but if we receive payments for utilities three times more expensive, then we will think as a consumer. The most important question is to find a balance in all the listed issues  from Kazakhstan perspective.

Channel energy on the necessary track Channel energy on the necessary track
Mangilik El prospect, C1.4 Z00Y4T8 Nur-Sultan Akmola region Kazakhstan