Russia: SUEK flotation technology gives coal a deep clean

Russian thermal coal producer SUEK has commissioned a US$13.3 million flotation unit for its Kirov washing plant that uses new technology to maximise the efficiency of coal fines, saying it can help increase production output by nearly 3%. The new unit will boost commercial output at the plant by 2.8%, and raise the concentrate production at the washing plant by 150,000t/yr, all while reducing waste output, said the company.

The new flotation system can achieve a 0-0.35 mm efficiency in fines, producing a high-quality concentrate with a calorific value over 6,600 kcal and an ash content of 8-9%.

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

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

“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,” he added. SUEK’s Research Institute of Coal Beneficiation completed all the design work for the project, which included a flotation unit building, flotation reagent storage, a pumping station, a TP-103 transformer substation and a protective structure.

The Flotation machines, XJM-S28, and disc vacuum filters, Bokela Boozer, are at the core of the process cycle and the unit can also process sludge coming from two modules of the Kirov washing plant as well as from the old sludge sumps.