Since we are the largest shale oil manufacturer in Estonia, our activities affect the environment and the local community. We are working hard in order to bring our production footprint to the minimum. In 2018, the Environmental Board and the town of Kohtla-Järve confirmed the action plan aimed at reducing the number of aromatic substances, prepared by the Group, according to which we made an investment in the amount of 1.1 mln euros into the improvement of the quality of ambient air. In the result of investments made in 2018 and 2019, according to the plan, the number of aromatic emissions arising from the production territory of VKG will be reduced by 12%.
Within the frames of this programme, last year the combustion areas on the territory belonging to the Group, located at Kohtla-Järve dumpsite, caused by the storage technology used before, were closed, in accordance with the technology developed by specialists in the field and the project prepared by OÜ ENTEC Eesti. Besides, the absorber 200 within the equipment for preparing heavy and light-middle oil and the absorber 40 at the oil warehouse were united into a single breathing system. The emissions from those systems were directed for combustion into the boiler at the Northern power plant and the electrode coke equipment accordingly.
In addition to the actions described above, it is of primary importance for us to reduce the environmental effect caused by transport.
In 2018, the largest environmental project was the construction of the enclosed pipe conveyor for semi-coke. After this conveyor was launched, the logistics of raw material, as well as all of the kinds of waste generated in the process of shale oil production, was resolved by means of the environmentally-friendly enclosed conveyor systems. Conveyor systems reduced the usage of automobile transport considerably on the territory bordering the town, which in its turn facilitated the reduction of the number of emissions into the atmosphere, the noise from driving and loading/unloading procedures, and dust emissions.