“Titanium” Project: At the junction of high technologies
SITTEC Ltd. started the construction of a titanium coagulant plant in Nizhniy Domanik settlement in the Komi Republic
Komi Region Business Magazine. April 2011
April 20, 2011 will stay not only in the memories of those who participated in this ceremonial event, but also in the memories of their distant descendants: a memorial capsule with a message for further generations was inserted at the construction site of the production complex to the accompaniment of music and applause. In the message the participants in the project expressed their belief that the new product would considerably contribute to the protection of environment and health of current and future generations. The ceremony gave a start to the first realized on a practical level project of the development of the unique Yarega deposit titanium component.
It should be mentioned that this was a long-expected event. The Yarega deposit, which was discovered not far from Ukhta in the 30s of the past century, is unique in that both oil and titanium ore are produced here. Besides, the deposit contains over 40% of all titanium resources in Russia, which is around 640,000,000 tons. The deposit exploration for the titanium component began back in 1958. The 60s saw the construction of a complex for experimental titanium dioxide pigments production. But later the works were suspended.
It was LUKOIL-Komi LLC that gave the project a new lease of life by starting up pilot production of titanium coagulant. The production of the first industrial scale batch of the unique product was completed on May 9, 2006. The implementation of the project began in 2008, when CJSC SITTEC became its operator. This young company is part of IFD Kapital, one of the largest holdings in Russia that invests in oil and gas and banking sectors, pensions, construction, energy, as well as in mass-media and high technologies. SITTEC headquarters are located in Moscow with its production branch situated in Yarega, the Komi Republic. The industrial site of the plant which is to be constructed is located nearby – in Nizhniy Domanik settlement.
The insertion of the capsule at the construction site of the production complex followed a meeting-presentation on the titanium coagulant production project that was held at the office of the SITTEC Ltd. branch. The meeting was attended by Alexey Chernov, First Deputy President of the Komi Republic, Sergey Ustinov, Deputy Minister of Industry and Energy of the Komi Republic, Oleg Kazartsev, the acting head of the Ukhta administration, Peter Oboronkov, Director-General of LUKOIL-Komi LLC and member of the State Council, Vladimir Balabanov, President of Russian Academy of Entrepreneurship, Academician, PhD in economic sciences, Professor, and Honoured Scientist of the Russian Federation, as well as by heads of design organizations involved in the project - PechorNIPIneft LLC and the Russian Scientific Centre “Applied Chemistry”, - of CJSC Trest YamalStroyGasDobycha, the general contractor, and Engineering Gas System LLC, organization responsible for exercising construction control, and also by representatives of government bodies, and other parties involved in the project.
Elena Dmitrieva, the Director-General of CJSC SITTEC spoke to “Oil of Russia” about the “Titanium” project. According to Mrs. Dmitrieva, the investment in the project will total RUB 2.1 billion. The project supposes the construction of production building, liquid chlorine warehouse, and auxiliary facilities, as well as the reconstruction of an oil and titanium ore enrichment factory. The construction is planned to be completed in December 2012, and in 2013 the pilot scale production is supposed to attain the projected capacity with over 50 000 tons of oil and titanium ore processed and over 25 000 tons of titanium coagulant produced per year. The new production will create 320 jobs, with the majority of employees chosen among local workers and specialists.
Speaking about the titanium coagulant production technology, Vyacheslav Rodenko, Deputy Director-General for Design Works and Innovative Technologies of the Russian Scientific Centre “Applied Chemistry”, Director of the Design Institute, stressed, that the production would use the most modern equipment, and that the project itself combined high technologies applied in different branches of industry. Yury Kantsler, President of CJSC Trest YamalStroyGasDobycha, noted that the company had wide experience in oil and gas construction, including construction in the severe conditions of the polar region. It was the principal contractor that worked at the construction site of well-known Bovanenkovskoye and Kharasaveyskoye deposits in Yamal. He also noted that the builders felt a great responsibility for the construction of such a high-tech plant in the Komi Republic.
Those who participated in the meeting were able to see for themselves the advantages of titanium coagulant. This unique product is supposed to be used mainly as reagent for drinking water purification and industrial and municipal waste water treatment. The project has become especially important recently with the announcement of the Pure Water Federal Target Programme aimed at providing the country with drinking water of high quality during 2011-2017.
At present the efficiency of titanium coagulant is considerably higher than that of other existing means of drinking water purification. Titanium coagulant use in water purification facilities gives up to 40 per cent economy. The quantity of the reagent required for purification is lower. Titanium coagulant requires less time for water filtration and allows to abandon chlorination completely (chlorine is known to be an aggressive chemical, and its compounds may be of harm to human health). But the most important advantage of titanium coagulant is that it remains effective even with low temperature which is so typical of the country’s northern climate zone. The unique properties of this high technology product were confirmed by comprehensive research tests carried out in 2009-2010 in EU countries. The project was positively assessed by the Principal State Environmental Expert Examination Board.
In order to show all these unique properties Vladimir Rodak, the Director of the branch of SITTEC Ltd., carried out test coagulation right before the eyes of those present at the meeting. According to Mr. Rodak, in purification plants in different Russian cities the process takes from 40 minutes to four hours. But that time only a few minutes after the titanium coagulant had been dropped in doses into water and stirred, the turbid brown water of the local river Voyvozh became crystal clear. This was especially apparent when Mr. Rodak put a sheet of snow-white paper before the two flasks with natural and purified water.
Vladimir Rodak was so sure about the purification quality, that to everyone’s surprise he drank the water from the second flask. “Very mild and tasty!” – commented he. After the experiment, Nikolay Tskhadaya, the rector of Ukhta State Technical University, who was also present at the meeting, asked for a kilogram of coagulant for the university laboratory, and received a positive response.
Then there was a bus tour around the site of the new production. The initial stage of the construction – the site filling and the construction of an approach drive – was performed by CJSC ViD, a Pechora company, specializing in such type of works. A special funnel, leading to the bore hole, was made on the site edge. Alexey Chernov, First Deputy President of the Komi Republic, Oleg Kazartsev, Acting Head of ICDO Ukhta Administration, Peter Oboronkov, Director-General of LUKOIL-Komi LLC, and Elena Dmitrieva, Director-General of CJSC SITTEC, signed a message for future generations, placed it into a memorial capsule, and inserted the capsule through the funnel into the bore hole. Then each of those who were present at the ceremony took a shovel, made of special titanium alloy, to cover the bore hole with concrete grout.
Answering the journalists’ questions Alexey Chernov noted that the implementation of the project would completely eliminate the problem of water purification in the Komi Republic. Furthermore, it would create new jobs and provide tax revenues to the budget at all levels. Elena Dmitrieva stressed, that the project’s pay-back period was 5 years, with 70 per cent of titanium coagulant produced for domestic use, and the remaining part – for export. Both of them expressed their wish to meet two years later at the official opening of the production.