- Environmental Protection Management
- Coal Power Plant Energy By-Products
- Monitoring and assessment of environmental impacts
- The CEZ, a. s. Environmental Protection Policy
CEZ Group's business activities are governed by strict ethical standards - this includes acting responsibly toward local communities, society, and the environment.
Environmental Protection Management
In 1997, the CEZ, a. s. management announced, in a Board of Directors' declaration, its commitment to enforce within the company requirements specified in the EN ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems international standard. The decision was implemented as a change in the environmental protection management system, based on integration of requirements specified in the standard of the management system of the company and its power plants, through the major steps as follows:
- Adoption of the "CEZ Environmental Protection Policy“ at the company Board of Directors level, as well as related specific policies according to the company organizational hierarchy and local conditions ( there are specific environmental policies for, e.g., CEZ conventional energy division, coal power plants, hydro-power plants, and nuclear power plants), and publication of such documents ("policy", further on)
- Development of a policy implementation plan, based on recognition of operation, service, or product elements from the viewpoint of their potential environmental impacts, i.e. their environmental aspects
- Identification of measurable targets in the field of environmental protection management, together with target values, programs, and projects aiming to fulfill the objectives and the overall policy
- Implementation of changes, focusing on management of environmental aspects and realization of adopted programs
- Education and training of employees regarding issues of reduction of negative environmental effects in production processes
- Compliance verification of dealings, activities, and procedures with commitments determined within the policy and identification of potentials for improvements in the environmental protection management
Between 1998 and 2001, the CEZ, a. s. gradually integrated requirements specified in CSN EN ISO 14001, into all management systems of the conventional energy division, including all its coal and hydro-power plants, as well as in the management system of NPP Dukovany. Having performed certification audits verifying the system compliance with the standard, the CEZ's Nuclear Power Plant Dukovany in 2001 and CEZ's conventional energy division in 2002, received internationally recognized certificates of Environmental Management System (EMS). The certificates received are continuously revalidated during recertification audits. For CEZ, a.s., the EMS implementation and its follow-up certification do not represent an objective, but they are a means of prevention in, in order to minimize negative environmental effects.
Through such a transition towards active environmental protection, the CEZ, a.s. compounds good results of technical measures implemented since 1992 until the end of 1998.
Greenhouse Gas Emission Rights
End of Free-of-Charge Allocation The Czech Republic, along with another eight European Union Member States, received an exemption from the requirement to grant greenhouse gas emission rights exclusively at auction as of 2013. The Czech Republic's application of September 2011 for partial free-of-charge allocation of rights to generate electricity (the so-called "derogation") was approved in June 2012 by the Directorate-General for Climate Change (European Commission) and this was followed in December 2012 by approval from a competition perspective by the Directorate-General for Competition (European Commission). As of the Annual Report closing date, the applications of Poland and Bulgaria, where CEZ Group also operates, had been approved only by the Directorate-General for Climate Change (European Commission) and so derogation cannot yet be applied in these countries.
Under derogation, CEZ Group can obtain 76.1 million tons of emission rights in the years 2013-2020 in exchange for investments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These investments must at least equal the value of the emission rights granted through derogation. The value of the emission rights is determined on the basis of their market prices in the preceding year. In 2012, CEZ Group submitted to the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic its "Report on Realization of Investments" for the period June 25, 2009 to September 30, 2012, in which independent financial and power industry auditors confirmed that the Group had invested over CZK 22 billion in clean, environmentally friendly technologies. According to the information in said report, in 2013 CEZ Group will receive a total of 18.8 million tons of rights to generate electricity in generation installations in the Czech Republic.
The basic strategy of CEZ is to produce electric energy and heat in an environmentally friendly way. This was why in 1992 we launched the program to desulphurinize and modernize our power stations.
Modernization of our power stations
2012 - year of continuation of the comprehensive renewal of selected coal-fired power plants in the Czech Republic with the aim of operating only highly efficient sources with the lowest possible emission factors. The upgrade of Tušimice Power Station was completed in June, the construction of a new, Czech coal-fired power source in Ledvice is continuing in accordance with an updated timeline, and the retrofit of Prunéřov II Power Station got underway following a protracted approvals process. We entered into a contract on the sale of Chvaletice Power Station, bringing us closer to fulfillment of a proposed settlement with the European Commission.
Comprehensive Renewal of Tušimice II Power Station
Phase Two of the comprehensive renewal was completed and warranty operation is ongoing on Units 21 and 22. Currently, the process of obtaining certificates of occupancy for the various buildings is ongoing, with completion planned for June 2013. In July 2012, a fire damaged the building housing vacuum belts used to remove moisture from industrial gypsum, causing a plant-wide outage that lasted three weeks, until mobile gypsum dewatering equipment was sourced and put into operation.
Comprehensive Renewal of Prunéřov II Power Station
All permits necessary under applicable legislation for construction of the project have been obtained.
The comprehensive renewal commenced on September 1, 2012. Currently, demolition work is nearly complete, installation of steel structures and boiler pressure vessels has begun, and foundations are being laid for the turbogenerator mounts and equipment shared by the generation units. Temporary measures are being taken to enable operation of the remaining Units 21 and 22. Decisions promulgated by regulatory authorities are being challenged in administrative court.
Construction of New 660 MW Source at Ledvice Power Station
Installation work continued in 2012, mainly on the boiler house, the machine house, and the flue-gas desulfurization installation.
Fossil power plants account for under 70% of the installed capacity of the CEZ Power Company (map of power plants). Brown coal is fired at most fossil power plants. The North Bohemian fossil power plants are situated in direct neighbourhood of brown coal mines.
Over the past seven years (1992-1998), the CEZ Power Company has implemented what probably is the biggest and fastest environmental programme in Europe. Within the framework of the programme, we have installed the total of 28 desulphurisation plants and 7 fluidised-bed boilers at out power plants. Moreover, ash precipitators have been reconstructed and power plant control systems have been modernised. The overall investment in modernisation and desulphurisation of fossil power plants amounted to CZK 46 billion. Thanks to the effort, the SO2 and ash emissions have been cut by 90% and those of NOX by 50%. Our power plants are thus currently fully comparable to similar sources anywhere in Europe.
The environmental program of CEZ includes the desulphurization of the total power capacity of 5,930 MW in 32 coal-firing units, the construction of seven fluidized-bed boilers at four power stations, improvement in the efficiency of ash precipitators and the implementation of measures designed to cut the production of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide. The amount of 2,020 MW is scheduled to be decommissioned.
The power station desulphurization program is the fastest in North Bohemia. In 1994, the desulphurization equipment at the Pocerady Power Station(2 x 200 MW) was launched, followed in 1995 by that in Prunerov(4 x 110 MW). In these stations, the wet limestone scrubbing technique was used, which is envisaged to be deployed in 90% of coal-firing units of CEZ. At two units in the Ledvice Power Station, the combined semi-dry limestone desulphurization technique has been deployed.
In the autumn of 1995, the first fluidized-bed boiler at the Tisova Power Station was launched into operation testing. With its output of 350 tons of steam per hour, the unit became the biggest system of its type in the Czech Republic. Other fluidized-bed boilers have been constructed in the Hodonin and Ledvice power stations and in the Porici Power Station.
Currently, desulphurization units and fluidized-bed boilers are being operated at power stations giving off rated power of 4,810 MW and 442 MW respectively, which amounts to 82% of the company program. In older power stations, 1,125 MW of capacity have been decommissioned. The desulphurization program will allow the SO2 emissions from the CEZ coal-firing power stations to fall by over 90%.
Concurrent with the desulphurization efforts, reconstruction work on fly-ash precipitators and boiler modifications designed to cut the emissions of fly-ash and NOx have been under way at all coal-firing power stations of CEZ. The upgraded electric fly-ash precipitators achieve 99.8% efficiency. The emissions of ash and NOx will have dropped by over 90% and 50% respectively compared to those in 1991.
Emissions of pollutants are kept under strickt supervision and monitoring by CEZ. In all power stations, automatic continuous emissions measurements are carried out and the competent authorities are kept constantly informed.
Act No. 309/1991 Sb. sets the emissions limits for solid air pollutants (fly-ash), sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide. The date by which the new limits are to be met is 31st December 1998. By that date, CEZ will have been operating no power unit failing to meet the new emission limits.
During implementation of the desulphurization process, a method of fly-ash management more friendly to the environment was adopted in all power stations. Before this technology ash was pumped to be dumped in the sludge pools. This new advancement will allow the ash to be collected dry and reused,
for example in the landscaping projects in disused surface coal pits.
During the desulphurization process the by product, the so-called power industrial gypsum, is produced which is a valuable recycled material. Thanks to its high purity, guaranteed by the parameters of the desulphurization equipment, the material is suitable for applications in the construction industry. Since 1994, the Pocerady Power Station (a joint-venture with Knauff Pocerady) has been producing gypsum plaster boards using the power industrial gypsum produced by the desulphurization units. A similar company, this time in co-operation with Rigips, is being built near the Melnik Power Station.
Over the recent years, CEZ have studied extensively the potential of generating electricity from wind power, solar power, or by firing biological materials. The first wind power station of CEZ is power rated for 315 kW and was launched into operational testing in November 1993 in Krusne Hory (in Dlouha Louka near Osek). At this demonstration power station, tests and measurements were carried out throughout 1997, including the verification of the effect of turbulence for the power output, studying the effect of ice and atmospheric charges for the station operation, the environmental effects of the power station for its surroundings, and the optimization of the station operation and other similar tests.
In 1997, a wind power station farm was renovated in Mravenecnik, which is located in the Jesenik mountains (near the Dlouhe Strane Pumped-Storage Hydro Power Station) which includes three wind units of respective power ratings 220, 315 and 630 kW).
TThe discharged water is subject to like control. In the control tanks and the discharge pipe, the volume activities of the activation and fission products - gamma radiation sources, Strontium ( 89 Sr, 90 Sr), and tritium are assayed and the overall alpha and beta activities are measured. All the data obtained has been found to be over ten percent below the permitted limits.
The discharged water is subject to like control. In the control tanks and the discharge pipe, the volume activities of the activation and fission products - gamma radiation sources, Strontium ( 89 Sr, 90 Sr), tritium are assayed and the overall alpha and beta activities are measured. All the data obtained have been found to be tens of per cent below the permitted limits.
The summarized information about the nuclear safety of Czech nuclear facilities is contained in the detailed report on State Office for Nuclear Safety page, which was successfully discussed with IAEA.
Coal Power Plant Energy By-Products
The ash coming from the combustion processes taking place in CEZ's coal power plants is suitable, in particular, for utilization in landscaping after an extensive coal excavation, in re-cultivation, and structural layers of roads and other ground surface communications. Ash components (ash and slag) are utilized in construction material production, e.g. cement, concrete and mortar mixtures, and wall building materials. Processed ash is utilized as both structural and filling material of waste deposits, as equivalent substitution for natural clays. Power plant gypsum originating in combustion gas desulphuring is demanded for raw material production of cement, plaster and related products, as well as an equivalent substitution for natural raw materials.
A dry-state delivery of energy by-products and their components provide for direct use of such products at customers, and utilization of specific properties of such products for, in addition, recultivation of sludge sediment basins, as well as for shaping of landscape contours, in accordance with requirements applicable within a particular location. Additionally, the dry-state delivery technology includes central mixing plants for a mixture preparation according to various recipes, adapted for purposes of mixture utilization.
Changes in energy by-product management are reflecting into registration systems maintained according to the Waste Act and enable the CEZ, a.s. to reduce the quantity of waste to be disposed of, and deposit the waste instead, for a fee or a contractual price.
In 2000, nearly 28 % more energy by-products from CEZ coal power plants were utilized, in comparison to the data from 1993. By 1999, e.g., 50 mil. m2 of gypsum plasterboards was produced from CEZ combustion gas desulphurization gypsum, in the Czech Republic.
Land Clean-Up and Reclamation
In 2012, reclamation work continued at sites in the vicinity of CEZ Group conventional power plants (ash and other waste dumps, settling ponds, etc.). In 2012, over 8.2 million tons of certified power generation by-products (PGBPs) were utilized in land reclamation. These power generation by-products are primarily ash, products of the semi-dry flue gas desulfurization process, and synthetic gypsum from the wet limestone scrubbing process of flue gas purification. CEZ Group produced a total of over 9.9 million tons of PGBPs in the course of generating power and heat in 2012. Of the total amount of PGBPs, over 99% was used in the form of certified products (over 82% in land reclamation and landscape creation), while a negligible amount was disposed of as waste in accordance with the Waste Act.
Monitoring and assessment of environmental impacts
The CEZ, a.s., according to the Czech Republic environmental law, CEZ is required to monitor, to what extent it pollutes the environment, how it utilizes natural resources, and what are the possible environmental consequences of its operations. Additionally, the CEZ, a.s. is required to provide information concerning its environmental effects.
The CEZ’ss, a. s. environmental protection activites include a registration of atmosphere pollutions (emmissions), in monitoring stations. Monitoring stations are located in the field, giving CEZ the ability to assess objectively impacts of the coal power plants operation on atmosphere pollution level, i.e. area emission burden. Measuring stations are equipped with modern instruments mostly used for automated measurements of dust, sulfur oxide, and nitrogen oxide emissions. Measured values are received, in addition, in Emission Information System of Atmosphere Quality (ISKO) of the Czech Republic.
According to the Czech Republic law concerning environmental impact assessment, the CEZ, a. s. submits to relevant state administration environmental authorities, for their assessment. Specific documentation concerning an independent evaluation of environmental impacts of each considered construction project, operation, and technology including their changes and changes in utilization, are subjected to an assessment. The CEZ, a. s. activities, subjected to such an assessment, are open to comments and suggestions from the side of municipalities and the public.
The CEZ, a. s. Environmental Protection Policy
Within the CEZ, a. s., we conduct activities related to electricity and heat production in accordance with the company mission. The mission statement includes a commitment for both electricity and heat production in a safe and environmentally conscious manner. We reduce power and heat plant environmental impacts through the implementation of expert manageral methods, with an emphasis on responsible behavior. In the process of electricity and heat production, we are guided by the applicable legislation, knowledge and experience in the facility operation, managerial capabilities, and the commitment of company employees. The CEZ, a.s. environmental responsibilities are documented in the certificate of environmental protection management with a Netherlands accreditation and in this Environmental Protection Policy:
- Environmental protection is one of our companies main priorities and is a deeply integrated in managerial endeavors.
- A respect for legal regulations of the Czech Republic concerning the environment, a peaceful utilization of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation and standard parameters, determined according to such regulations or employing international commitments of the Czech Republic in the area of environmental protection, we consider self-granted and our permanent commitment.
- System is utilized to provide safe and reliable conditions during operation.
- We identify and evaluate environmental impacts and apply the results in our business operations as well as providing that information to state administration authorities, local authorities, and the public.
- Within the process of a technological measures preparation, we focus on the best economically acceptable technologies.
- We promote consumers' awareness of economic electricity and power consumption and provide them with expert advice, in order to reduce environmental damage.
- We respect conditions under which particular company power plants operate and respond to objective criticism and suggestions from shareholders.
- We will continue to improve the level of environmental protection, particularly in the field of raw material, and energy utilization, as well as in the area of atmosphere emission control and in the application of developed by-products, especially of ash and power plant gypsum, in other industrial sectors.
- In the course of company employee’s education and training, we shall further improve their awareness and knowledge that is necessary for environmental protection.
- In supplier selection proceedings, we will pay even closer attention to our partners’ environmental attitudes and tendencies.
- In order to reach our policy’s objectives, we shall identify specific targets, target values, and environmental protection programs, including the resources required for their implementation.
We shall periodically assess fulfillment of the environmental protection policy and use the assessment results for updating our policy and continually search for other improvements.