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Mechel to spend over 1 bln rubles on ecology in Chelyabinsk Region

Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant (ChMK PAO, MOEX: CHMK) and Mechel-Coke OOO (both part of Mechel Group) will spend over 1 billion rubles on environment protection over the next two years. The company’s ecological program was presented at a meeting of the interdepartmental working group tasked with developing a project agreement between the region’s government and Mechel PAO on ecological cooperation.

The group’s second meeting was attended by Russian State Duma’s Deputy Vladimir Burmatov, Chelyabinsk Region’s Deputy Governors Ruslan Gattarov and Sergei Sushkov, Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources’ regional Department Chief Vitaly Kuryatnikov, the region’s Civic Chamber Chairman Oleg Dubrovin and acting regional ecology minister Yana Kuprikova.

Mechel PAO’s Chief Executive Officer Oleg Korzhov presented a report on the environment protection measures taken by the company’s Chelyabinsk facilities over the past few years. These measures enabled Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant to cut waste emissions by 30% and Mechel-Coke by over 40%, with emissions of such substances as phenol, naphthalene and hydrogen sulphide down by up to 90%. Officials from ecological watchdog agencies present at the meeting confirmed this ecological effect.

Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant and Mechel-Coke are now launching more environment protection measures to be implemented over the next two years. The upgrade will cost approximately 1.1 billion rubles. The company is also preparing for an independent ecological audit whose results will determine the company’s plans for until 2025.

“The audit must be entirely independent, so that the results would show the real picture at both Mechel-Coke and Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant, and at the nearby territories, which host many unreported freeloaders that sponge on Mechel’s infrastructure. We want to examine this situation as a whole. Russia has companies capable of conducting such an independent audit, including major research institutes, one of which is in Saint-Petersburg and another in Moscow. The winner of a tender for the ecological audit will conduct it,” State Duma’s Deputy Vladimir Burmatov noted.

“It is very important that the company is beginning to open up. The company’s top managers take part in these measures and openly participate in discussions that can grow rather heated, as you all know. It’s all very important. We expect a major change of the ecological situation around Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant and Mechel-Coke over the next year,” Chelyabinsk Region’s Deputy Governor Ruslan Gattarov, who heads the interdepartmental working group, added.

“We intend to shortly complete all formal procedures necessary to pass from words to actions. We have developed the technical specifications for the audit and now need to approve it with monitoring agencies and the public. I would like to note that Mechel is not sitting idle until the agreement with the regional government is signed — the company has already begun its environment protection program which can be enhanced after the audit. We really want to contribute to improving Chelyabinsk’s ecology and will spare no effort to do so,” Mechel PAO’s Chief Executive Officer Oleg Korzhov noted.