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SUEK promotes wider application of ash and slag in road construction

21 November 2022

The Ministry of Construction of Russia has discussed the use of ash and slag in the construction of regional and local roads.The relevant regulatory and technical documentation needs to be updated, which will enable more active use of ash and slag materials both in road construction and in the production of concrete and cement.

The matter of wider involvement of ash and slag waste from coal-fired thermal power plants in economic activities was considered at a meeting in the Ministry of Construction of Russia. Participants included Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation Dmitry Tetenkin, Deputy Minister of Energy Pavel Snikkars, CEO of Siberian Generating Company (SGC)Stepan Solzhenitsyn, CEO of the National Association for Recyclables Development Irina Zolotova and Head of the Federal Road Agency Roman Novikov.

The outcome of the meeting was the decision to make and approve by the year-end a list of pilot road construction projects in order to determine the technical and economic effects of ash, slag and fly ash. Such materials will reduce project costs compared to traditional solutions.

Those participating also analysed the need to update the relevant regulatory and technical documentation, which will expand the use of ASW in road construction and the production of building materials.

Irek Faizullin, Minister of Construction and Housing and Public Utilities of the Russian Federation, said: "Of course, the use of such materials is necessary. In addition, there is potential for their use. Today, we need an integrated approach in order for ash and slag to be demanded. This means the creation of a high-quality market product, affordable logistics, pricing and consumer appeal, and, most importantly, stimulus and involvement of business in this process."

The annual potential for using ash and slag in economic activities is estimated at 25 million tonnes. With that, the construction industry has the greatest potential - over 14 million tonnes, of which 10.6 million might be used in cement production.

An important step was the Comprehensive Plan to increase the utilisation of ash and slag waste, which was approved by Russia's Government Decree No. 1557-r dated 15.06.2022. The National Association for Recyclables Development has also set to work. It has developed a 'white book', which includes Russian and foreign examples of using ash and slag in road construction.

SGC's activities in this area are fully synchronised with the government's programme. The company has a strategy for using ash and slag until 2035.

Stepan Solzhenitsyn, CEO of SGC, said: "Our energy business is ready to create a quality product and quality service for consumers. To this end, we have developed long-term investment plans and are now implementing them. But state support in setting up a consumer market remains an important component, and we are doing and still have a lot of work to do with relevant agencies and regional authorities."

It should be noted that SGC owns 25 coal-fired thermal power plants from the Urals to the Far East. The total ash and slag waste accumulated across SGC assets is around 356 million tonnes. The company's plants annually generate more than 8 million tonnes of ash and slag. Most of them are stored at ash dumps. Nevertheless, the share of ash and slag involved in economic activities is increasing every year.

Over 70 companies use ash, slag and fly ash from SGC power plants. These are manufacturers of cement, reinforced concrete products, concrete and mortar, aerated concrete and pre-mixed building products. For example, Technoflex produces bitumen-based rolled roofing and waterproofing materials using fly ash. The company purchases fly ash from SGC plants in Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk and processes 40 thousand tonnes of ash per year.

From January to September 2022, SGC shipped 458 thousand tonnes of ash, (27%, year-on-year). The increase in shipments was due to signing new contracts and stepping up deliveries under existing agreements.

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