Atyrau Refinery: Rotten Draw Pond to be Drained
On November 4, 2019, the Atyrau Refinery held a round table to discuss the upgrading of the refinery’s waste treatment plant. The event got together the AR management, famous Kazakh chemists Galina Boyko and Raushan Sarmurzina, representatives of local NGOs, journalists, community leaders and environmental activists of the region.
The round table focused on the implementation of the Tazalyq Project, which includes upgrading and retrofitting of the mechanical treatment facilities of the Atyrau Refinery (2019-2021), retrofitting of biological treatment facilities and construction of a post-treatment unit (2019-2023), as well as retrofitting of the evaporation ponds and the channel of effluents treated to standard quality (2019-2022). Now it can be seen that the project life has been reduced by three years – the completion date changed from 2026 to 2023.
Adilbek Imangaliyev, Lead Engineer of the Environmental Department of the refinery, presented the current progress of the project. According to him, on October 17, 2019, the Atyrau Region Akimat and Atyrau Refinery LLP signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to implement the project for the reclamation of the evaporation ponds of the left-bank area of Atyrau until 2021.
“With the commissioning of the municipal wastewater treatment plant in 2020, the refinery effluents will be discharged to the plant to be treated and sent back to the enterprise for its own needs. This will reduce the water intake from the Ural River by 50%. Moreover, the channel to transport the refinery effluents to WWTP will be of a closed type, which also prevents emission of pollutants to the environment,” Adilbek Imangaliyev said.
Thus, the retrofitting of evaporation ponds means the refinery will completely stop discharging effluents to the Rotten Draw (Tukhlaya Balka) Pond (860 hectares owned by the Atyrau Refinery), which will be drained, and this will help avoiding any negative impact on groundwater, flora and fauna of the Atyrau region.
Further, a closed-type mechanical treatment plant will be built at the refinery, and the introduction of modern technological processes will enable the standard quality of wastewater treatment.
According to Shukhrat Danbay, Atyrau Refinery’s CEOLLP, “the Memorandum signed by the Atyrau Region Akimat and the Atyrau Refinery implies joint management of the project for the reclamation of evaporation ponds.”
“Being the Atyrau residents, , we do address jointly with the Akimat the issue of environmental pollution in our region with substances from the evaporation ponds. Our Tazalyq and the WWTP to be built by the Regional Akimat are two components of one and the same large project. They will make no sense one without another. Therefore, we, for our part, will make every reasonable effort to implement the project on time and we hope the Akimat will do the same,” S. Danbay said.
According to the refinery CEO, the Tazalyq Project is being implemented using the refinery’s own funds supported by the parent company, JSC NC “KazMunayGas”.
Reports were made by the scientists – R. Sarmurzina (Solving the Environmental Aspects of Oil, Gas and Chemical Industries Using Energy Storage Substances) and G. Boyko (Activated New-Generation Aluminum Alloys in Solving Environmental Issues of Oil Sludge Disposal, Demetallization of Heavy Oil Products with Simultaneous Sulfur Removal) at the round table. The scientists talked about the use of various aluminum alloys to extract oil sludge from effluents and demonstrated clearly the principle of operation of such substances.