Lay high-quality roads, save on it and take care of the environment – three points that do not seem to coincide. However, as foreign experience and principles of a closed cycle economy show, this is possible all over the world. And soon it will become a reality for Ukraine, where the product of coal combustion – ash and slag materials – will become the basis for the construction of the road for the first time.
The main thing is sybiosis
At the Forum “Ash-and-slag materials. The European experience of using “, which was held last week in Lviv, the president of ECOBA (Euro-Association for the utilization of by-products of coal combustion) Ivan Skidmor demonstrates the film of the late 60s. On the variegated noise of video excavators rake huge deposits of ash, it is transported to the site of construction, then – prepared – laid as the basis of the future motorway. Then shows a gray textbook.
“This 1967 book is probably the only copy. Here – the basis of our experience, how to use the ashes during construction, – he says. “The main thing in this issue is the symbiosis between builders, power engineers and authorities.”
Ash-and-slag materials are a byproduct of coal combustion at thermal stations. For example, at Dobrotvorskaya TPP in the Lviv region dumps occupy 144 hectares. And as thermal power plants give a third of the country’s total electricity, what we consider to be waste has accumulated enough to idle a lot of land, which can be used in a more useful way. Europeans propose to look at the situation from the other side.
Our goal is a coal-fired power plant that does not waste, “explains Dr. Tomáš Scichelski, speaking about the Polish experience. – The cyclical economy means preventing their formation in the first place … Speaking of “prevention”, we mean that waste should be perceived as a product. If a country gets an electrician from coal from its own mines, the government should see this interaction and perceive what remains as a resource. ”
After a simple preparation, the waste turns into materials that serve as the basis for roads. Great Britain, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Poland – all these countries have created their own philosophy of handling ash and slag for decades. “Successful examples of using ash and slag include the construction of facilities such as the Kalsk-Milomlin motorway, the Pomor subway in Gdańsk, the wood chipboard plant in Biskupiec, and the reconstruction of the airport in Goleniuva,” says Kamil Schygelsky from EkotechTrade.
Old Dobrotvor Lviv region in bad weather – like an island: the transport there to go refuses.
“The drivers refuse to go, bus flights too, if few people complain about the very poor condition of the roads … They do not want to transport people due to the fact that there is not really anything to go on,” said Oleg Prokopeyko, chairman of the Starodoblvvorsky village council.
The situation may change in the near future: the energy company DTEK together with the integrated operator of industrial waste UMG Resourse prepared a project for the reconstruction of the motorway using ash and slag. While this is not a major freeway, a kilometer of a local road has been chosen for the pilot project. They expect significant savings.
“Preliminary conclusions suggest that construction costs can be reduced to 30%. Slag ash is replaced by natural materials, sand, soil, what is used as a basis for the construction of the road, “- says Irina Verbitskaya, head of the department of environmental safety of DTEK.
Polina Sarnikova, Strategy Director of UMG Resource, explains: “The efficiency, environmental friendliness and value of industrial wastes in road construction has long been recognized in Europe. To realize this experience in Ukraine, it is necessary to involve all stakeholders in the work and form a unified position of the state, design institutes and contractors. ”
Again, the quality of this approach can be judged by European experience.
“After 20 years of experience, we check the roads that were built only from ash, for damage, and they are not, it’s an excellent result,” emphasizes ECOBA Secretary-General Hans-Joachim Feuerborn.
At the same time, European experts stressed that to use ash and slag in road construction, Ukraine must develop and adopt an appropriate regulatory framework. Here you can see the progress: last year the Cabinet approved the National Waste Management Strategy. This is the European principles for the management of all types of waste and the introduction of the principles of a cyclical economy. Legislators prepare draft documents, which, according to the Minister of Ecology Ostap Semerak, will be adopted in the near future.