Krasnoyarsk has placed a state order for the liquidation of the territory of the former chemical plant which worked for the defense industry. The money for reclamation of another industrial site is allocated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, already tired of legal suits.
Krasnoyarsk Chemical Plant which was declared bankrupt at the beginning of 2011 stopped operating for 10 years. It was one of the largest manufacturers of gunpowder and solid rocket fuel and one of the city-forming enterprises of Krasnoyarsk in the Soviet Union. It is located in the Leninsky district of the city not far from another defense giant Krasmash, which is still operating, unlike the plant. The territory of Yenisei is about 700 ha. It has been polluted with wastes of hazardous military production for 70 years. There are cellulose nitrate, powder mass, acids, fuel, lubricants, formaldehyde, and other various chemical substances. The huge area, covered with barbed wire, has been dead-weight capital for 10 years and brings the city nothing but problems. The only upside is that it provides jobs to some of the staff who guard the site.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation has recently placed an official notice about the public auction for the contract for the liquidation of the production. The works were estimated at 2.16 billion rubles ($29 mln.) According to the authorities, the enterprise is out of operation, and its facilities pose a threat to the population and the environment. Several dozen industrial buildings, powder cellars, warehouses, and other infrastructure facilities are slated for demolition. They must be cleared of explosive residue before that. The cellulose nitrate sludge pit is the main problematic site. The Ministry of Industry and Trade gives less than a year for the work. The auction is scheduled for early December. Then, the winner will have to develop the design and estimate documentation, get it approved in February 2022, and start the actual work. According to the terms of the contest, they must be finished as early as December 2022.
Possibly, these hasty actions of the Ministry of Industry and Trade were caused by news from the Moscow Arbitration Court. Yenisei's bankruptcy trustee has been bombarding the court with lawsuits against this agency for cost recovery for several years now. Since the Yenisei was a federal state unitary enterprise, it had federal property. It and, particularly, the hazardous sludge reservoir had to be taken to the treasury after bankruptcy. However, this issue has not been resolved by the Federal Property Management Agency of the Ministry of Industry and Trade in 10 years. Protecting the site and keeping it in a safe condition for the city requires money. The bankruptcy trustee has already won a suit against the Ministry of Industry and Trade for 65.5 million rubles ($877,176) in May and 70 million rubles ($937,440) in July this year, and another 71 million rubles ($950,832) at the end of October. This had to be stopped at some point. All the more so when the resources became available. The 146 million rubles ($1.956 mln) fine was paid by Norilsk Nickel for the May 2020 accident at the combined heat and power station. The federation immediately said that the money would be allocated to various environmental goals. Yenisei reclamation was also among them.
“This program has been running for almost 10 years. About 5 billion rubles ($67 mln) have already been spent on the liquidation of dangerous warehouses. The final stage is underway. There are still some facilities left and a few solution ponds where explosive substances have accumulated. Next year, the work will be finished, and this land will be put into operation for business development,” State Duma deputy Viktor Zubarev told wek.ru.
It is already known that the released land will be used for commercial development. The Yenisei will become one of the defunct enterprises that will be replaced by offices and high-rise buildings. For example, such as the Krasnoyarsk Combine Plant, whose territory is already being developed, or the Krasnoyarsk oil depot which is also awaiting reclamation. The fact that the land there was contaminated with explosives is unlikely to make it less attractive to developers as it was with the possible constriction on part of the site of the chemical-metallurgical plant or Sibstal before.
In general, there are enough of such dangerous industrial sites in Krasnoyarsk and its suburbs. There is a former pulp-and-paper factory which, by the way, is very close to the Yenissei. There are also sludge collectors of the former chemical fiber plant on the outskirts of Krasnoyarsk.
“There are many sites of this kind around Krasnoyarsk. There are such sites in other cities of the Krasnoyarsk territory as well. Such areas where hazardous facilities used to be located must be identified, and their owners must be defined. We need a unified program for liquidation of such waste and land reclamation,” says Alexander Simanovsky, ex-Chairman of the Committee for Natural Resources and Environment of the Legislative Assembly of Krasnoyarsk Territory.