Factory cuts pollution with new nitric acid production unit

The Kędzierzyn Nitrogen Plant in southwest Poland is poised to install new technology to boost productivity and cut harmful emissions

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Modernising the facilities will enable the factory to comply with current environmental standards, reducing emissions of harmful airborne pollutants.

‘Best available techniques’ will replace 50-year-old unit

Kędzierzyn Nitrogen Plant (Z.A. Kędzierzyn, or ZAK), a chemical factory with 1700 employees, produces nitric acid to make fertilisers, as well as oxo alcohols and phthalate plasticisers. It holds 16 % of the Polish market for nitrogen fertiliser production.

The company is now poised to update its nitric acid production facilities to increase production capacity, make efficiency savings and reduce the plant’s environmental impact.

The works will comprise a new nitric acid production unit with a capacity of 900 tonnes a day, a new neutralisation plant with a capacity of 1 800 tonnes a day, a new cooler ventilation unit, circulating water pump room and preparation station for additional water. Existing facilities will also be extended: new nitric acid storage tanks with a capacity of 2 000 m3 will each have a security system in event of leaks.

The new production unit will be sited on the location of an earlier nitric acid production unit that is over 50 years old, and which will be decommissioned as part of the project.

As a result of the investment, the plant should achieve targeted growth in nitric acid production, reduce energy consumption and operating costs, and comply with environmental requirements and recommendations for the chemicals industry as regards the use of best available techniques.

Fewer harmful emissions

The investment should lead to a direct reduction in harmful gaseous emitted by the plant. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, which contribute to lung disease and cause acid rain, will be cut by 1 285 tonnes per year. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will be reduced by 4 810 tonnes per year, while emissions of particulate matter (dust of nitrite, nitrate and sodium carbonate), which contribute to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, will be cut by 4 tonnes per year.

Total and EU funding

The project, “Construction of a new nitric acid installation together with a pressure neutralisation installation”, has an eligible budget for funding of EUR 64 271 600 of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund will contribute EUR 5 565 604 during the programming period 2007-2013.

Draft date

01/01/2007