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Uralchem suspends production at Azot plant

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World Fertilizer,

Uralchem halted production at its Azot plant in Berezniki, Perm Krai, on Wednesday 8 July due to the calcium chloride content rising abruptly in the Kama river, from which the plant takes water for production.

The pollution of the water body registered during 7 and 8 July 2020 posed a safety threat to the functioning of the plant’s equipment. Uralchem has asked the environmental authorities to immediately investigate the incident and determine the cause of the pollution.

The plant, which produces ammonia, nitric acid, urea, sodium nitrite and ammonium nitrate, uses the river water for production purposes, taking it from a surface water body which is part of the Kama reservoir. The plant has a water use agreement with the Kama Basin Administration under the Federal Water Resources Agency.

The content of calcium chlorides in water is strictly regulated by enactments and in-company technical rules and is controlled by an Azot-accredited laboratory. The plant halted the operation of its production facilities on 7 July due to a seriously excess content of chlorides in Kama’s water, as it threatened the functioning of the plant’s equipment and might cause an emergency shutdown. The resulting idle time means considerable losses for the plant.

Uralchem has decided to submit requests to the Berezniki Prosecutor for the Environment, the town government and local offices of Rosprirodnadzor (Federal Service for Environmental Supervision), Rostekhnadzor (Federal Service for Technological Supervision) and EMERCOM. The company has asked these authorities to take urgent steps to settle the situation and to investigate whether current legislation has been violated.

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