The European Business Association (EBA) calls on the government to increase the use of metallurgical slags as well as ash and slag waste in road construction,

according to a letter of the Association seen by GMK Center.

According to EBA estimates, 6.5 million tons of slags can be used in 2020 to implement the Big Construction program, which provides for the construction of at least 4 thousand km of public roads. The replacement of 30% of crushed stone with slags will save ₴420 million of state budget funds.

The use of 25% of ash and slag waste in crushed stone and sand mixtures per 4 thousand km of roads will allow using 1 million tons of such materials and thus saving ₴428 million. The replacement of 30% of materials with ash and slag waste will save ₴500 million.

The high cost of slag transportation however does not contribute to their increased use in road construction, EBA experts say. Quite often, logistics costs can account for up to 90% of the by-product’s final cost. Therefore, the EBA calls on the government to develop and apply a mechanism to compensate for slag transportation costs (over 100 km).

“The use of slags will reduce a burden on the environment by cutting waste accumulation,” the Association said in the letter.

The EBA also proposes to open the door for placing government orders for the creation of pavement recipes based on the use of metallurgical slags.

In February, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine officially recommended increasing the use of metallurgical slag in road construction. Priority areas for the application of construction technologies based on the use of metallurgical slags are Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv and Kirovohrad oblasts.

According to estimations of GMK Center, Ukraine has the potential to increase at least fivefold the use of slags in road construction. There are around 430 thousand km of roads in the country. If at least 3 thousand km are annually repaired (around 0.6% of their length), consumption of slag will increase to at least 5 million tons, a five-fold increase from now.

The Metinvest Group has invested ₴22.5 billion in environmental protection measures in Kryvyi Rih over five years,

according to a message of Metinvest on Facebook page.

Ingulets, Northern and Central GOKs use non-TNT explosives and water stemming in mining operations. To reduce exhaust emissions, companies use conveyor transport.

GOKs also update water sprinklers, build gas-cleaning facilities and pumping stations. Companies fix dusty surfaces with the help of green areas and chemicals.

As GMK Center reported earlier, the Metinvest Group is going to invest $670 million in environmental modernization of its plants until 2025. There are 149 projects in the Group’s portfolio.

Metinvest Holding LLC is the managing company of the Metinvest Group. The major shareholders of Metinvest are its co-managing companies SKM Group (71.24%) and Smart Holding (23.76%).

The European Business Association (EBA) calls on the Parliament to foster the imposition of a moratorium on a hike in environmental tax rate until the end of 2021,

according to a letter of the Association to heads of parliamentary committees on finance, budget and environmental policy, as well as the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection.

“Given a pre-crisis rate decline in industrial production and the crisis associated with the spread of COVID-19, we ask you to foster the imposition of a moratorium on an increase in tax rates, including environmental tax rate, until the end of 2021,” the document says.

The main taxpayers in Ukraine are large industrial enterprises. Their activities have a direct impact on the environment. At the same time, there are virtually no examples when oblast or local authorities managed to somehow reduce these effects through environmental tax. Money go to greenspace expansion or sewer connection repair at best.

In the past few months, an economic decline in general and a drop in industrial production in particular has been recorded not only in Ukraine, but also around the globe. This is primarily due to the imposition of the quarantine measures caused by the pandemic of the coronavirus COVID-19.

Hence, environmental effects are reduced due to a decline in production. Yet at the same time, companies are forced to take action aimed mainly at preserving jobs and maintaining business operations amid a collapse in market demand.

Based on preliminary estimates by EBA experts, industrial production will be able to recover to the pre-crisis state in around 2–3 years.

In this regard, EBA experts propose to refrain from raising environmental tax rate until the end of 2021.

EBA experts also propose to revoke draft laws aimed at imposing a 1.5 fold increase in environmental tax rate and adopt a long-term and predictable plan to gradually increase tax rate for emitting pollutants into the air by stationary sources (except for СО2 and СО), dumping pollutants into water and placing wastes at special designated areas in 2022–2030:

If the environmental tax rate increases in 2020, the Ukrainian industrial sector may suffer significant losses. This, in turn, may curb investment and decrease the amount of tax revenue in the state budget.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in November 2019, a group of MPs from the Sluga Narodu faction presented a draft Law proposing to increase the environmental tax fourfold.