Magnitogorsk refractory plant fined $600 for pollution violations

By Paul Rackstraw
Published: Friday, 30 August 2019

The leniency of a penalty for breach of environmental regulations has been criticized as part of a general failure by authorities in Russia to cut down industrial emissions.

The environmental prosecutor’s office in Magnitogorsk, in the Chelyabinsk region of southwest Russia, fined local company Magnitogorsk Cement-Refractory Plant the sum of 40,000 roubles ($600*) in July for violating legislation designed to prevent air pollution.

The company, which supplies refractory mortars, cements and other materials, was found to have insufficient emissions controls at the facility, and technical documentation was discovered to be four years out of date.

Local media reports have hinted at public dissatisfaction with the leniency of the fine, and with the wider failure to crack down on pollution from refractories and other manufacturing operations in Russia’s industrial areas.

In July 2018, a four-way consortium - comprising local steelmaker PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, refractories business Rusfoundryconsult, Chelyabinsk’s Investment Development Agency and Czech company SEEIF Ceramic - agreed to invest 680 million roubles ($10.2 million) to build a new refractories plant in Chelyabinsk.

Construction was scheduled to start in the second half of 2019, but so far there have been no official updates on progress.

(Conversions made in August 2019.)