Increasing the Pace of Production, not Forgetting about the Environment


     The first nitrogen plant in our country and in Central Asia is the JSC “MAXAM-CHIRCHIQ”, the history of which goes back to 1932. Since its commissioning in 1940, the company was called Chirchik Electrochemical Plant. And at that time the plant became fundamental in the formation and development of the urban structure of Chirchik city.
     Today the JSC “MAXAM-CHIRCHIQ” is the largest producer of mineral fertilizers and other chemical products in Uzbekistan. Over the years of its existence, the company has formed an excellent business reputation, it has gained respect among domestic and foreign partners and consumers for the high quality of products and reliability.
     The Chairman of the Board Hotam Anvarovich SAIDAKHMEDOV told “EBU” correspondent about the prospects of further development and tasks facing the JSC “MAXAM-CHIRCHIQ”.
     – In 2007, a Spanish company Maxam Corp S.A.U. acquired a 49% stake in the company, and in this context the company was renamed the JSC “MAXAM-CHIRCHIQ”. What has changed, besides the name, since the coming of Spanish investors to the enterprise?
     – The stability of manufacturing, high quality of products and timely fulfillment of obligations to consumers are those basic principles which always defined the business style of our enterprise. The manufacturing is based on modern technologies that allow producing high-quality products that meet international standards and are in steady demand, both in Uzbekistan and abroad. After acquisition by Maxam Corporation of a share in the charter capital of our plant a set of works has been carried out for reconstruction and modernization of existing productions, and construction of new productions with attraction of additional investment funds. These include: reconstruction of urea production in 2013, construction of LDAN in 2014, modernization and technical re-equipment of production of nitric acid AK-72 and AK-72M, reconstruction and modernization of raw materials production to ensure stable operation of mineral fertilizers in 2015. The purpose of these works was to stabilize and increase the capacity of existing production facilities.
     In addition, the company implements a corporate governance system.
     – In a market economy, quality is the top priority of any company. What is the peculiarity of your products, what are their main competitive advantages? What are the reasons for achievement of high-quality indicators?
     – Of course, the quality of products of an enterprise is an important factor in the market, as it provides not only the expansion of market segments and competitiveness, but also contributes to the prosperity of the enterprise and profit growth. Our company specializes in the production of mineral fertilizers and chemical products, where quality is very important. The purpose of the organization’s management system is to meet the high demands of consumers and even exceed their expectations.
     The activity of the JSC “MAXAM-СHIRCHIQ” is based on an integrated approach: performance of full cycle of works, beginning with the formation of the strategy and business plan to receiving the final result – the production of high-quality products. This is facilitated by the presence of its own certified and accredited laboratory, equipped with the most modern equipment, which allows for input control of incoming raw materials, as well as the performance of measurements and tests of product quality. Systematic analysis, monitoring and control of processes is carried out to assess their effectiveness and compliance with the established criteria, at all stages of the product life cycle — for compliance with the requirements of international standards: ISO 9001; ISO 14001; ISO 50001 and OHSAS 18001.
     – Tell us what the benefits of international certification for the company are?
     – Certification of the management system was an important step for the company. First, the performance discipline has improved at the plant, which helped prevent the occurrence of incidents, accidents, and emergency situations. Second, the control of hazardous production sites and the management of risks arising in the course of production activities has been strengthened, which means that the environmental situation in the region has improved. And third, it is an increase in the competitive advantages of the enterprise, investment attractiveness, including participation in tenders, reducing direct and indirect costs of business, including the cost of compensation for losses, expanding the domestic market and increasing export opportunities.
     Ultimately, the management system creates an enterprise management mechanism in which employees are interested in improving or maintaining the achieved level of quality of products and services.
     – These days the issue of environmental friendliness of manufacturing is especially relevant all over the world. Tell us what level of work is carried out today at your company to prevent pollution of the atmosphere and the environment?
     – To ensure environmental safety, the JSC “MAXAM-CHIRCHIQ” has developed and actively applies a comprehensive system of environmental protection activities, including three main areas:
     ● systematic ongoing work (monitoring, control, operational measures, accounting and reporting, etc.);
     ● organizational work (development and approval of standards, environmental education and advocacy);
     ● perspective directions (decision-making on emission reduction, discharges, improvement of processes, decision-making at the stage of development of greenfield projects).
     On a daily basis the health laboratory carries out the analytical control and ongoing environment monitoring at the plant in the following areas: the ambient air of the working zone, outside air of sanitary protection zones; gas emissions from sources of the enterprises; waste water of the enterprise, the qualitative composition of water facilities before and after the wastewater discharge by the enterprise; groundwater (there is a network of observation wells).
     In order to maintain an adequate environmental situation, the environmental action plans are developed and implemented annually at the enterprise to reduce emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere and water facilities, the placement of solid waste. In order to reduce the impact on the environment, the production shops and divisions of the JSC MAXAM-CHIRCHIQ carried out activities for the amount of about 307.3 million soums in 2018 and 76 thousand USD.
Last year, the State Committee on Environmental Protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan developed and approved the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of the pilot plant for the production of vanadium catalyst of sulfuric acid production, the draft EIS for the overhaul of existing residential complexes, the draft EIS for the reconstruction and modernization of the AK-72M unit for production of nitric acid. Environmental certificates for technological processes of manufacturing are received: technical water ammonia, technical liquid ammonia, concentrated nitric acid, liquid nitrogen fertilizer “CAS”, universal nutrient solutions.
     This year 19 events for environmental protection and rational use of natural resources are planned to be carried out for a total of 597.2 million soums. To maintain the standards of MPE (maximum permissible emissions) and improve the environment at the enterprise during the 1st quarter of 2019, measures were carried out for the amount of more than 48.1 million soums.
     According to the results of the 1st quarter of 2019, the sources of emissions of the JSC “MAXAM-CHIRCHIQ” released 508.43 tons of pollutants into the atmosphere, which is 1271 tons less than the limit of MPE set for the quarter. In accordance with the requirements of the Laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Nature Protection”, “On Waste” the environmental certificates were obtained for the following types of waste: waste catalysts, waste oil, waste tires, scrap metal, cubic residues of monoethanolamine purification.
     – The only catalyst production in Uzbekistan operates as part of JSC “MAXAM-CHIRCHIQ”. Tell us about the uniqueness of this manufacturing. How much are the products in demand?
     – The catalyst shop of the JSC “MAXAM-CHIRCHIQ” was put into operation in 1949. Back then for the first time in the former Soviet Union the production of nickel-chromium catalyst for fine purification of hydrogen from oxygen and for nitrogen exchange was started. The method of production of nickel-chromium catalyst is currently used in other plants of the CIS. Over the years, more than 15 types of catalysts have been produced in the catalyst shop, such as: medium-temperature catalyst of carbon monoxide ОХК-2Э, absorber of sulfur compounds ЧПС-03, АНМ, ЧКР-03, ЧКГ, НТК-4у, ТО-2, СА-С, СА-СВ, ГИАП-8, ГИАП-14, etc. At the same time, the catalysts show excellent performance. For example, the absorber ЧПС-03 is operated on AM-76 of the JSC “MAXAM-CHIRCHIQ” and the JSC “Farg‘onaazot” since 2011.
     The quality of the produced catalysts is confirmed by long-term tests and operation at the enterprises of the chemical industry of the Republic and abroad. And the specific surface area and sulfur capacity they are superior to foreign analogues. The production technologies of the catalysts are protected by patents of the Republic of Uzbekistan and awarded the State Prize of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
     Every year we increase the rate of production with an increase in the share of exports. In addition to the main catalysts, the shop produces limited batches of experimental catalysts developed jointly with specialists of the Institute of Physics and Chemistry of Polymers of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In the near future, on the basis of the existing equipment of the catalyst shop, it is planned to launch the production of vanadium catalysts, the production capacity of which can fully cover the needs of Uzbek chemical industry and replace all imports.
     – In recent years, the company is actively increasing the production. Which countries do you export your products today?
     – According to the Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. PP-3246 dated August 29, 2018, the finished products of our company are sold for export through the foreign trade company “Uzkimyoimpex” LLC as well as through the affiliates of Maxam Corp, CR Capital Resources company and “Maxam-Kazakhstan” LLP. To date, the finished products are exported to such countries as: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Russia, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria and Korea.
     – According to experts, the chemical industry is not as sensitive to economic instability as most other markets. In addition, a large-scale global fall in prices for chemical products is also not observed. Perhaps that is why this sector remains one of the most attractive for investment. What investment projects is the company implementing or is planning to implement? What exactly are investments aimed at?
     – Over the past 10 years, according to the investment program, the company has implemented a number of projects aimed at increasing the volume of production, reducing its cost, reducing energy resources, improving the environmental situation, as well as stabilizing the operation of existing production facilities. Thus, according to the Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. PP – 677 dated July 27, 2007 the project “Reconstruction and modernization of large-capacity unit “Ammonia-76”” was implemented, which allowed to increase the production capacity of the unit, reduce energy consumption, as well as reduce emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere and water facilities.
     According to the Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. PP-1072 dated March 12, 2012, two investment projects have been completed at the enterprise. From 2011 to 2012, due to the implementation of the project on modernization and technical re-equipment of urea production, the annual production capacity was increased, which allowed to meet the demand in the country, increase the export potential of the enterprise, as well as to reduce the consumption rates of raw materials and energy resources for urea production. In 2012 the company completed the construction of a new production facility for production of export-oriented products — low density ammonium nitrate, used mainly by mining enterprises.
     Pursuant to the Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. PP-1623 dated October 4, 2011, due to the implementation of the project “Reconstruction and modernization of raw materials production to ensure stable operation of mineral fertilizers”, the construction of which was carried out in the period from 2012 to 2015, the production of sulfuric acid was increased from 140 to 165 thousand tons per year, the consumption rates of raw materials were reduced, as well as the consumption of natural gas in the ammonia production shop was reduced. In 2016 the implementation of another energy-efficient project has been completed, which reduced the annual demand for natural gas by 3.9 million m3, as well as reduce the gross emission of harmful substances into the atmosphere.
     Currently, according to the Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. PP-2692 dated December 22, 2016, work is underway on the implementation of the project “Modernization of the exhaust gas heating method with exclusion of the BNG-172 (gas heating unit) technology. AK-72M “Production of non-concentrated nitric acid in the JSC “MAXAM-CHIRCHIQ”, the estimated cost of which is 10.0 million USD. Implementation of the project is planned with partial attraction of credit funds of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The project implementation period is 2019-2020.
     – An important condition for the dynamic development of our country is the accelerated introduction of modern innovative technologies in all sectors of the economy, social and other spheres with a wide application of science and technology. What is the level of interaction between your company and science today?
     – Interaction of the JSC “MAXAM-CHIRCHIQ” with science is the main link in the development of the enterprise. Today we have active cooperation with the leading institutes, enterprises and research enterprises of the Republic: Tashkent Chemical-Technological Institute, Institute of Physics and Chemistry of Polymers of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, Institute of General Inorganic Chemistry, Institute of Materials Science of the scientific enterprose “Fizika-Solntse” of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, Institute of Plant Substances of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, manufacturing enterprose “Khorezm Antikorr Invest”, Research Institute of Motorways, scientific manufacturing enterprise “Magistr”, National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo Ulugbek and others.
     For example, the development and introduction of new products is carried out both in-house and with the involvement of specialists of higher education institutions and research organizations. Since 2010 the production of: active zinc oxide, carbon ammonium salts (CAS), liquid fertilizer CAC (urea-ammonia mixture), catalyst for medium-temperature conversion of carbon monoxide CO brand ОХК -02, catalyst for hydrogenation of sulfur compounds from hydrocarbons brand АНМ, absorber of sulfur compounds brand ЧПС -03, nitrogen-sulfur granular fertilizer, domestic anti-tracer for ammonium nitrate brand ЧАС -13, anti-tracer for ammonium nitrate brand Novo Flow, fertilizer magnesium nitrate, potassium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, multipurpose nutrient solution (MNS) (liquid complex fertilizers), phosphourea, sulfonylurea, modified porous ammonium nitrate, urea with gray-magnesium minerals, anti-scalant was set up.
Currently, the specialists of the enterprise together with the leading research institutes and enterprises of the Republic are actively engaged in scientific and technical work on the introduction into production of new and improved types of import-substituting products, such as: vanadium catalysts for sulfuric acid production, trace elements in chelated forms, traditional mineral fertilizers CAC with trace elements Fe, Cu, Zn in chelated forms, water-soluble complex fertilizers NPKS, white soot, etc.
     – Next year will be the 80th anniversary of the JSC “MAXAM-CHIRCHIQ”. What basic business principles allow you to remain as one of the leading chemical enterprises in all Central Asia today? How will the company develop in the future?
     – The JSC “MAXAM-CHIRCHIQ” adheres to the following basic business principles in its activity: customer orientation, personnel involvement, process approach, systematic approach to management, continuous improvement and strengthening of mutually beneficial relations with partners. The reputation of our factory is confirmed by several decades.
     – Thank you for the conversation.


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