OGK-2 Sees Big Opportunities In Selling Ash to Cement Firms

OGK-2 is hoping to cash in on a by-product of its power production and help lower soaring costs for construction materials by selling coal ash to concrete producers, chief executive Stanislav Noveinitsyn said Thursday.

"We are planning to sell our ashes in the Urals, which is one of the country's fastest developing regions where both our plants and the biggest concrete producers are located," Noveinitsyn said at a news conference in Moscow.

OGK-2, which was spun off from Unified Energy System during the privatization of the energy sector, is 56 percent controlled by the Gazprom.

"We will soon hold negotiations with the leadership of the Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk regions so that they can help us develop partnerships with local concrete producers," he added.

OGK-2 said it planned to sell 6,000 tons of ash per day from its Troitsk power plant and 2,000 tons from its Serov station.

"The amount of income from the sales may well be comparable to the money we get from selling our electricity," Noveinitsyn said.

Currently, the country's concrete producers primarily use lime as a base, but they could replace it with the coal ash, which would be "environmentally friendly and cost-effective," an expert at the Builders Association of Russia said Thursday, declining to give his name in line with the group's policy.

Other power generators have also looked into selling their ash. OGK-1 spokeswoman Yana Dubeikovskaya said Thursday that the company's Kashirskaya thermal power plant was planning to sell up to 150,000 tons of coal ash per year.

"We are now holding negotiations on selling our ashes with concrete producers in Moscow and the Moscow region," she said.

A spokeswoman for Eurocement Group, the country's biggest cement producer, on Thursday declined to comment on the use of ash.

Industry magazine Energetika i Promyshlennost Rossii said in May that recycling coal ash from power plants was a "promising practice" for both the energy and construction industries. By 2010, the report said, as much as 40 million tons of ash per year may be available from the country's power plants.