SUEK cleans up with new flotation unit at Kirov coal washing plant

SUEK says it has commissioned a new flotation unit at the Kirov coal wash plant in the Kemerovo region of Russia.

The technology, introduced at SUEK for the first time, maximises washing efficiency of coal fines (0-0.35 mm), producing a high-quality concentrate (calorific value over 6,600 kcal) with an ash content of 8-9% from a product containing 30-40% ash, the company explained.

With this unit, the output of commercial products will increase by 2.8%, boosting the annual concentrate production at the washing plant by 150,000 t. At the same time, the company will generate less waste, spending less on “waste release” (cake), transportation and storage, it said. This also solves environmental issues related to road transport within the city (dust, noise and pollutants).

This investment of $13.3 million comes on top of a $13 million investment the company made in high-tech water treatment facilities at the Kirov mine earlier this year.

Anatoly Meshkov, General Director of JSC SUEK-Kuzbass, said: “The global market environment requires ongoing improvement in the quality of coal for achieving competitive advantages.

“The company has adopted and runs a relevant long-term program. Technical re-equipment and modernisation enhance the production capacities of washing plants. Today, SUEK-Kuzbass is able to process 16 Mt of coal a year. Another way to achieve the quality indicators required by the market is to increase the processing depth of raw coal or use fine sludge (down to zero).”

He added: “Having commissioned the flotation unit at the Kirov washing plant, our company will effectively address this issue. In addition, the environmental situation in neighbouring areas will improve.”

Sibniicoal, SUEK’s Research Institute of Coal Beneficiation, completed all the design work for the flotation unit, with the project comprised of a flotation unit building, flotation reagent storage, a pumping station, a TP-103 transformer substation and a protective structure. The radial thickener building also underwent renovation.

SUEK spent about $6 million on new equipment for this new unit. Flotation machines, XJM-S28, and disc vacuum filters, Bokela Boozer, are at the core of the process cycle, it said.

The company says the unit can process sludge coming from two modules of the Kirov washing plant as well as from the old sludge sumps.