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Poison or income

The project of a gas processing plant in Yakutia is not popular with all residents of the republic

In Yakutia, disputes over the construction of a gas processing plant on the territory of the Megino-Kangalas district continue for more than a month. In late October, the Public Chamber of the Ministry of Industry discussed the project. The initiator of the construction is the fuel and energy company YATEK, which owns several gas fields on the territory of the republic. According to local authorities, the construction of the plant will become a starting point for the development of the gas transportation system. Opponents argue their position by climatic conditions and underdeveloped infrastructure for large-scale industrial production.

Poison or income
Today, four independent gas transmission schemes operate in Yakutia, and gas is practically not sold outside the republic. Accordingly, the potential that is stored is limited by the domestic market. This is the production of heat, electricity and household needs. Potential, which is contained in the fields of "YATEK", could bring additional tax revenues to the republic, create jobs. Since the launch of the "Siberia Power" gas pipeline, it will be possible to sell Western Yakutia gas outside the republic and the country. As for the Central and Vilyui group of uluses, where there are deposits, there is no possibility of connecting to the "Force of Siberia". At the moment, the main consumer of these areas is the population and large industrial enterprises. The company "YATEK" began to actively promote the project of construction of the plant, which will additionally consume Yakut gas, produce methanol and will engage in large-scale export of products.

According to the Minister of Industry and Geology of Yakutia Andrey Panova, the implementation of the project will give a great impetus to the development of the gas transportation system, it will be possible to reduce tariffs for the population and enterprises.

- Initially it was a pure methanol project. But we propose to consider the possibility of producing methanol from fuel. This would reduce the cost of "northern delivery", improve logistics and get better and cheaper fuel. In addition, in general speaking of a large customer, and not a specific plant, we have a good potential for the transportation of additional gas. Providing gas transportation services, our state-owned company Sakhatransneftegaz could receive additional profits and, due to this, lower tariffs for consumers and the population. As part of the construction of the plant, we are also working on the issue of improving reliability - this is the construction of individual sites, - says Andrey Panov.

The minister gives an example to the fears of opponents who say that it is impossible to build such an object on the permafrost.

- Today the Yakut gas processing plant "Sakhatransneftegaz" stands on permafrost and has been operating for many years. They build everything in Yakutia, including hydroelectric power stations, underground mines of mines. Experts give a positive assessment in this matter. And before they build, they always study soils. Now YATEK ordered research. Then the results will be put on the court of experts and the public, - Panov sums up.

In 2015, another chemical plant in the Megino-Kangalas district was planning to build a chemical fertilizer plant, in particular carbamide. Discussions, rallies and hearings were held for six months. As a result, at the urging of the public and environmentalists, the chemical plant was not built. An environmental meeting and a public meeting about the methanol plant took place at the end of October. Opponents of the construction of the plant argue its position with specific climatic conditions and inadequate infrastructure development for large industrial production and exports.

- At the moment, when the gas and oil reserves are exhausted, the construction of a methanol plant is unprofitable. In addition, now the main pipelines are worn out. This requires additional funds. Plus they promise to double the gas production. In the world there is no such plant built on permafrost. In the same Norway, the permafrost soil is not everywhere. It is said that there is an opportunity to build, but not yet invented, a material that would restrain the force of the permafrost displacements. In Yakutia the railway is also not started and will not start. Every year there are accidents, which are often hushed up. If the accident occurs during the transportation of methanol, the consequences will be enormous. The poison completely destroys our nature, - says Ivan Shamaev, State Assembly deputy Il Tumen, director of the republican lyceum.

Residents of Yakutia are concerned about the ecological security of the region and, opposing the introduction of a methanol plant near the Lena River, recall the major industrial accidents "Chelyabinsk-57", the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the tragedy of the Aral Sea.

- The planned construction of a methanol plant in the middle reaches of our main waterway, or at least the tacit consent to this construction, is a crime against our own people. We will be assured that everything will be under control, that all "waste" of chemical production will be properly disposed of. The main argument will be the profit to the republican budget, plus the provision of substantial prosperity to ordinary villagers. But the following factors should also be considered. Thus, the processes taking place in the areas of permafrost have not yet been fully studied, and methanol, although a necessary, but at the same time a very dangerous product. To implement such projects, huge energy resources are needed: what to do with then a huge amount of "poisonous" water, where are they going to take raw materials for the "project", that is, natural gas in huge quantities? - asks the engineer-metrologist, the Yakutian Vasily Okhlopkov.

The state system and the experience of designing such objects at the present stage do not allow to allow for the construction and operation of production facilities that do not meet the above requirements. The Minister of Nature Protection of Yakutia, Sakhamin Afanasyev, assures that the plant will not remain "neglected", it will be monitored and monitored for ensuring fire, sanitary, industrial and environmental safety.

- There are rules and regulations for the construction of any object, adopted back in the 1988 year, which regulate the construction of foundations and foundations in the permafrost. Based on these rules, the city of Yakutsk and other objects in Western, Central and Southern Yakutia, where the permafrost regime of soils were built, was being built. Designing the location of objects without geological survey work on a specific site is not carried out. They must take into account local conditions, the environmental protection regime and the experience of designing these facilities on the territory of a particular region. That is, if a decision is made to locate a methanol plant in the Megino-Kangalassky ulus, the designer should order exploration work on a specific site that lasts two to three years. Only with the positive conclusion of geological and prospecting works that it is possible to build a foundation, a foundation on these soils, it is possible to start designing the object, - the minister says.

"YATEK" has selected the world leader in the catalysis and study of the physical and chemical properties of the surface of the Danish company "Haldor Topsoe" as the licensor for the production of methanol. As for the unrest on environmental issues, the project managers insist that, having become familiar with the feasibility study, there will be no fear.

- Since 2015 year in the Amur region near Belogorsky the largest gas processing plant in the country is being built. It will process 42 billion cubic meters of gas from the Chayandinskoye field (Yakutia) per year. They will receive ethane, ethanol, and also a lot of other chemical products, also poisonous. And including 60 million million cubic meters of helium per year. All the added value for processing gas in the form of wages, taxes, will remain with Amur residents. We will have a penny left. We will be a raw material appendage. Let's take a look at the situation through the eyes of YATEK. We will now find investors, there is already a preliminary agreement. The project will cost more than a billion dollars. We will open a new industry in the industry - export-oriented gas processing, - advises EastRussia Advisor to the General Director of YATEK Afanasy Yegorov.

The company is ready to hire local cadres, develop entrepreneurship through outsourcing and participate in social projects of the Megino-Kangalassky ulus.

"We still hope that the mind will prevail." Just a few days ago an agreement was concluded with the Danish company, which will supply the equipment. The feasibility study of the project is coming to an end. Then public hearings will be held. The question has become much more global. After all this history with rallies, protests, the situation shifted to a different plane. Everyone already knows that we have a cold, hard-to-reach transport scheme, a complex transmission line. All this requires a lot of money infusion. What investors will come to us after this? - concludes Athanasius Egorov.

Public hearings on the construction of a gas processing plant in the Megino-Kangalas district of Yakutia are planned to be held early next year. According to preliminary forecasts, if all the norms and requirements are met, the plant can be launched in 2022 year.
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