Association “RusChlor” organized and held its eleventh in a row annual International Scientific and Technological Conference “Chlorine and its Derivatives 2017” hereinafter referred to as the “Conference” on the premises of five-star Moscow hotel Baltschug Kempinski at the hotel’s conference hall on March 28 through 29, 2017. In close cooperation with Moscow JSC “National Chlorine Safety Centre”, Association "RusChlor" organized, convened, and held the Conference quite in line with a deep-rooted tradition established by RusChlor for such events and with the joint assistance of Ministry of Industry and Trade, Federal Service for Ecological, Technological, and Atomic Supervision of the Russian Federation, and Russian Chemists Union.
In addition to the representatives of those eleven Russian chlor-alkali plants that jointly make up all the full members in Association “RusChlor” there participated in the Conference more than a hundred of people representing sixty two legal entities from various regions of the world including Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, the United States, Canada, Japan, China, India, and Turkey. In so doing there were also represented in the Conference the engineering companies as well as the vendors of equipment, construction materials, spare parts, and deliverables.
The Conference’s programme was hinged on the following basic subjects for debate:
1. Production of chlorine and its derivatives in Russia and abroad.
2. Technologies, Equipment, and Instruments for the chlor-alkali industry.
3. The raw and new construction materials for the chlor-alkali industry.
4. Modern implementation practice for the western technologies and Russian chlor-alkali industry.
5. The problems that are encountered in transportation of chlorine.
President of Russian Chemists Union Mr. Viktor Ivanov opened the Conference and said a few words of welcome to the participants in it.
In his turn, Executive Director of Association “RusChlor” Mr. Boris Yagud presented to the participants in the conference a report on the major lines along which the RusChlor’s all activity has been unfolding from the early 2016 through the early 2017. In the reporting period Association “RusChlor” had prepared in cooperation with both Federal Service for Ecological, Technological, and Nuclear Supervision of the Russian Federation (ROSTEKHNADZOR) and the RusChlor’s membership’s chlor-alkali production facilities a draft text of the changes that should be introduced into the regulatory framework under which the production, warehousing, transportation, and application of both chlorine and its derivatives must be being performed.
Another important line of the RusChlor’s activities had been made up in that period by certification/ homologation of electrolyzers, compressors, valves, fittings & fixtures, pipes, pumps, instruments, and capacitive equipment.
There were also aggressively conducted by RusChlor last year the negotiations with Ministry of Industry and Trade, Federal Service for Ecological, Technological, and Nuclear Supervision, Ministry of Transportation of the Russian Federation, and Public Joint-Stock Company "Russian Railways" on the possible extension of the operational lifetime for the still functioning railway tank-cars for at the very least the time that it takes to first design and then manufacture the new such tank-cars by the machine building facilities so that there should be given more time for arranging the manufacturing of the new tank-cars.
One more line of the RusChlor’s activity had been made up in the reporting period by cooperation with BAT Bureau, Ministry of the Natural Resources, Ministry of Industry and Trade, and Federal Service for Ecological, Technological, and Nuclear Supervision of the Russian Federation aimed to prepare the chlor-alkali industry thoroughly for as smooth as possible a switch to functioning under the framework of the BAT paradigm, which in particular involved development of the informational-and-technical BAT reference handbooks, issuance of the integrated environmental permits, and participation in the management decision simulation that had taken place in Volgograd on the premises of PJSC “Kaustik”.
In cooperation with Russian Chemists Union and Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Association "Ruschlor" participated in the negotiations on the tax incentive and custom payment optimization measures to be allegedly taken to the domestic chlor-alkali production facilities. The negotiations were organized on the premises of Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation under the Ministry's aegis out of the general aim to improve the business climate in the country.
There had been revitalized in the reporting period the RusChlor’s long-standing relations with such international and national non-commercial organizations of the chlor-alkali industry as World Chlorine Council (WCC), American Chemistry Council (ACC), US Chlorine Institute, and Euro Chlor, which included improvement of processes of the data sharing and exchange with the normative documents.
In delivering his speech, head of BAT Bureau Mr. Dmitrij Skobelev drew the audience’s attention to the important circumstance that all the chlor-alkali production facilities would be required by the government to actively participate in development of the informational-and-technical reference handbooks on BAT so that based on the reference handbook’s data the facilities that fell under the first category of hazard would have to apply to the authorities for the integrated environmental permits. He also said that the new norm would come into the legal force on January 01, 2019. Mr. Skobelev also warned the audience about another important circumstance that all the technological limits that had been initially used as a basis for the reference handbooks would most probably toughen with the passage of time.
In making his presentation at the Conference Chairman of the Board of Directors of Moscow LLC “NIKOCHEM” Mr. Michael Baranov briefly outlined the actual state of the Russian chlor-alkali production facilities. Mr. Baranov also told the attendees about the impact that the general situation of the Russian economy had upon the development of the said facilities. In so doing, Mr. Baranov drew the audience’s attention to such acute problems faced by the Russian chlor-alkali industry as the absence of any sound National Industrial Policy, a steady rise in the tariffs on the services of the so called “Natural Monopolies”, too low the interest that prospective investors were taking in the chlor-alkali industry in general, unavailability of cheap credits for the large-scale modernization projects, too high a level of the wear and deterioration registered for the production equipment, inefficiency of the state regulation, introduction into the legal practice of unacceptable environmental standards without any preliminary discussion involving either the industry or scientific community or both.
General Director's Council Mr. Yurij Treger of Moscow LLC “RDE ‘Sintez” gave in his presentation to the audience a wide picture of both the actual state and future development trend of the chlorine processing industries in the Russian Federation. In so doing he underlined that the production output had dramatically collapsed in all the chlorine derivatives but PVC while the said output’s rise even in PVC in particular had been stubbornly hampered by a lack of ethylene though.
It was the opportunity given by the Conference that is being considered which was taken by General Director of the Chlorine Chemistry Department of American Chemistry Council Ms. Judith Nordgren to participate in such RusChlor-held events for the first time. In her presentation Ms. Nordgren told the audience about the actual state of the chlor-alkali industry of the Northern America and Mexico. In so doing Ms. Nordgren underlined the piece of new US environmental legislation that directly concerned the said industry. In particular she briefed the attendees in the Conference on the limits that had been imposed by that legislation on the use of the chrysotile asbestos in the diaphragm electrolysis production process, the ban that had been imposed on the export of mercury, the due disposal and management aplicable to the mercury containing wastes, the conversion of one of the two still functioning American mercury-cell chlor-alkali plants into the membrane electrolysis technique.
The problems faced by the American producers and users of chlorine in its transportation over rail were given an extra attention in Ms. Nordgren’s presentation. In particular she told the audience about reduction in the number of the railway companies operating in the market, lack of alternative ways to switch from one carrier to another in performing the transportation, and other problems that had made the transportation tariffs rise more than twice for just a few recent years.
Ms. Nordgren also told the audience about the official programme under which the new chlor-alkali industry employees were required to be trained. It is also worth noticing in connection to both the Ms. Nordgren’s presentation and the discussion that has followed it that all the matters that are linked to cooperation of the chlor-alkali facilities, emergency teams, and communities of people living on the territories adjacent to the alleged site of accident are assigned rather high a priority in the US.
There have been being scaled up the cooperation of the Russian chlor-alkali production facilities with the Chinese partners in recent times in the Russian Federation. In so doing, the Chinese companies help a lot in modernizing the Russian already functioning clor-alkali plants including the projects that involve the plants’ conversion into the membrane electrolysis technique ones. To proove the said thesis it is sufficient to mention in this connection the fact that there has been recently put into operation in close cooperation with Chinese engineering company “Bluestar (Beijing) Chemical Machinery Co.LTD” a brand-new chlor-alkali production line of the membrane electrolysis on the premises of LLC “Novomoskovskij Khlor” in Novomoskovsk in Tula Region, the Russian Federation.
In addition to the Chinese companies such western engineering companies as “thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers (Italia) S.r. l.”and “Chemieanlagenbau Chemnitz GmbH” also presented to the participants in the Conference the companies' own sophisticated solutions applicable to the tasks tackled by the Russian industry in the field of both the chlor-alkali technologies and equipment.
In their turn companies “MERSEN France PAGNY S.A.S.”, “Chemours Italy srl”, “Festo”, “descote S.a.S.”, Moscow LLC “Infinite Group”, Kazan JSC “NIIturbokompressor”, “De Deitrich Process Systems/QVF”, Vidnoe JSC "DALGAKIRAN-M”, and “Thaletec GmbH” in cooperation with “Swiss Glascoat”presented to the auditorie correspondingly heat recovery system “Sintaclor”, Nafion™ Ione-Exchange Materials, systems for automation of the continuous chlor-alkali production processes, bellows sealed control valves for use on liquid & gas chlorine, liquid-ring compressor installations, domestically produced integrally geared turbocompressors, installations for recovery of the recycle acids, industrial refrigerating systems “Angara”, and enamel-lined equipment.
Moscow LLC “Aliaxis ‘Utilities & Industry”, Kurgan LLC “Metall-Plast-Montazh”, and Pervouralsk LLC “UNIKOM” presented to the listeners the state-of-the-art polymeric equipment.
Moscow LLC “NTA-Prom” and LLC “Research and Production Company ‘INKRAM” presented the state-of-the-art control instruments including thermal mass flowmeters of the FCI series and meters capable of measuring the hydrogen content of chlorine.
It is also worth noticing the presentation made by a representative of Moscow LLC “Sol’ Rusi” because it was briefing the audience on the works on development of the famous Belbash salt deposit.
All the presentations made under the block of themes entitled “Implementation of the joint projects in the chlor-alkali industry” as, for example the one jointly made by the representatives of Moscow JSC “National Chlorine Safety Centre” and Irkutsk LLC “Hyprochlor”, were devoted to analyzing both the experience gathered and problems encountered in implementing the joint projects involving cooperation of the Russian and foreign engineering companies.
In so doing, the Scientific Risk Research Centre at Moscow LLC “RIZIKON” presented to the listeners at the Conference a report on the results of their performance analysis of the use of the water curtains in containing the chlorine waves. It is also worth noticing here that the report both had initially sirred up a great interest among the listeners and triggered off rather a hot-tempered discussion afterwards.
Moscow Association "RusChlor", Chinese “NANTONG CIMC Tank Equipment Co., Ltd”, and Moscow LLC “NPO ‘Transportation Cybernatics” raised in their presentations the issue of problems encountered in transportation of chlorine.
It is worth noticing in this connection the following acute problems spotted out in those presentations:
1. It will become obligatory since January 01, 2018 to equip all the stationary sources of pollution situated at the facilities falling under the first category of hazard with such measuring equipment that is capable of measuring the contaminating material’s contents, volumes, and quantities so that the data should be regularly transferred to a specialized government-run database.
2. It is necessary to modernize within rather a short period of time all the railroad tanker cars to be used in the bulk transportation of chlorine, which in particular includes equipping them with the automated tracking systems.
3. There must be developed before the end of the year 2017 all the official BAT informational-and-technical reference handbooks including handbook No. 34 entitled “Production of other basic inorganic chemicals” in the Russian Federation.
4. Lack of ethylene makes up a major obstacle to growth in the PVC output in the Russian Federation.
5. There are not available such techniques in the Russian Federation that can be applicable to the efficient works on diagnostics and life extension on the equipment, tanks, reservoirs, and pipes manufactured out of the plastic materials for use in the chlor-alkali industry.
6. It is not always easy to perform adequately the works on checking the foreign-made inspection & control equipment and instruments.
7. It is becoming urgently necessary to develop a brand-new meter of the hydrogen content of chlorine because the working life is expiring for all the previously made and still functioning such devices while there are not available any spare parts for them in the Russian Federation.
The Conference’s photoreport is available in the supplement.