Another hearing concerning the construction of a bleach pulp plant was held on 6 November
The third hearing on the environmental lawsuit regarding the construction of the bleached pulp plant was held on 6 November in Svetlahorsk. As it became known to the website HoradS.by from the press release the court was provided with materials that the European Union and Russia refuse to use chlorine dioxide – a hazardous substance that is going to be used at the plant in Svetlahorsk. In the past year, more than 10,000 residents Svetlahorsk signed a petition against the construction of the plant in Svetlahorsk. However, as the authorities decided to construct the plant anyway, the citizens demand to use there the TSF technology, free from chlorine dioxide, instead of EGF, where the dioxide is used.
Public representative Telman Masliukou, who filed the lawsuit against the construct of the plant together with the ecological organization “Ecodom”, took the floor at the hearing. He explained that in 2005, 48 European environmental organizations signed a document entitled "A shared vision of reforming the paper industry in Europe". In one of the paragraphs of the document says that it is necessary to "completely eliminate the use of components containing chlorine" while bleaching pulp.
According to Telman Masliukou, in 2006 the ecological organizations of Europe issued and open letter to representatives of the European pulp and paper industry, urging them to completely refuse from using chlorine dioxide . "The use of chlorine dioxide or other chlorine substances causes danger and has a negative impact on the environment. The use of these substances poses risks to the employees of the companies that work with these substances, and for the people living near the factories and places of production of chemicals,” the document says. “Businesses should minimize these risks by eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals such as chlorine dioxide, because even with the highest quality control at pulp and paper mills, accidents may and do happen at them."
In particular, accidents with emission of substances containing chlorine occurred at the Arkhangelsk pulp and paper mill in Russia in 2011 and the pulp bleaching plant “Stora Ensa” in Finland in 2012.
As further noted by Mr. Masliukou, in 2003 a conference was held at the St. Petersburg State Technological University of Plant Polymers in Russian, which was attended by leading academic institutions and the pulp and paper industry in Russia. Following the conference fully clorine-free whitening (TSF) was recognized as the best for the use in Russian pulp and paper mills. Such well-known Russian scientists as CEO of the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Pulp and Paper Industry Petr Osipov and the Doctor of Chemistry, Professor of St. Petersburg State Forestry University, principal consultant for the pulp and paper industry Emil Germer, spoke in favor of the TSF prospects in their publications.
In other words, a Chinese plant is built in Belarus which may use a technology which is discarded in the countries of the European Union and the Russian Federation. Although chlorine dioxide is used in the majority of the pulp bleaching plants in the world, the authors of the lawsuit believ that this is due to the fact that the plants were contructed several decades ago.