Increasing plant efficiency and environmental compatibility is a major challenge that the Russian energy sector is currently facing. Enel Russia has been committed to the issue for years, and has once again found a key ally in technological innovation. The Reftinskaya GRES thermal power plant, located in Reftinsky in the Urals, has recently inaugurated a dry ash removal system (DARS) that has replaced the traditional hydraulic treatment. For the first time in Russia, the new method allows the use of dry ashes for various industrial purposes, including the construction of materials and roads, as well as agricultural processes. Thanks to DARS, it is possible to safely store and ship up to five million tons of ash to customers per year, thereby significantly reducing water usage and saving thousands of trees from being cut down.
‘The construction of a dry ash removal system is an important project that demonstrates Enel Russia’s commitment to sustainability in its corporate strategy and business model,’ stated Enel Russia’s General Manager Carlo Palasciano Villamagna. ‘We are proud to have embarked on a path that allows us to improve the environmental performance of the Reftinskaya plant step by step, benefiting the community and the territory in which we operate.’
The DARS project was developed within the framework of an environmental agreement signed in 2011 by Enel Russia and the government of the Sverdlovsk region (where the Reftinsky plant is located). The Enel plant plays a key role in the modernisation of the country’s power facilities; a role that was further confirmed in May 2015 by the inauguration of a new system that uses fabric filters for flue gas dust removal. The system, which was installed in three of the plant’s ten units, is the first of its kind in a Russian plant and allows for a 99.9 percent reduction of light ash emissions, the equivalent of more than 10,000 tonnes per year. The project will gradually be extended to all of the plant’s units, increasing its sustainability and protection of the environment.