UNIDO/GEF Project “Environmentally sound management and final disposal of PCBs at the Russian railroad network and other PCBs owners”

Full title Environmentally sound management and final disposal of PCBs at the Russian railroad network and other PCBs owners
Deadlines February 2014 – December 2020
Sponsor Global Environmental Facility
Main partners, involved parties, beneficiary Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation
“Russian Railways” JSC
SUE “Vodokanal of St. Petersburg”
FSBI HPE “ Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas”
Objective The establishment of management system for PCBs-contained equipment in the Russian Federation and environmentally safe waste utilization
Project contacts Marina Myasoyedova
Project web-site http://www.stoppcb.ru

The objective of the project is the establishment of the system for PCBs management in the Russian Federation within implementation of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) provisions. The project provides for the establishment of PCB identification system in insulating liquids of electric power equipment, and also consequent labeling and disposal of PCBs-contaminated equipment in environmentally sound manner. The project is the first stage of the nation-wide program on phasing-out of PCBs in all branches of industry.

Within UNIDO project it is planned to establish the regulatory system for PCB-contaminated equipment- and wastes management and its safe utilization. In that vein the project team is actively working on drafting and promotion of PCBs inventory rules, as well as the Guidance on management of PCB-contaminated equipment.

The important project’s component is to increase the level of competence of the specialists involved in PCBs management at all its stages, including sampling, quantitative and qualitative chemical analysis of transformer oils, decommissioning of PCBs-contaminated equipment and environmentally safe PCBs disposal; as well as public and state authorities awareness-raising about the PCBs-related problems and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) provisions.

At the present time in Russia there is no management system for hazardous substances, PCBs-contained materials and equipment utilization. Herewith in the territory of the country there is a big quantity of oil-filled electrically-powered equipment potentially polluted with PCBs, which must be put out of commission till 2025. By 2028 as consistent with the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the PCBs-contained equipment and materials must be utilized. Singulars installation for hazardous substances utilization including pesticides and PCBs that exist nowadays don’t meet the industrial requirements for the liquidation of polluted materials and sometimes even fall short of accepted ecological norms on the part of emissions and discharges. Within the framework of UNIDO project there will be established the infrastructure that will not only allow to put out of the commission and utilize PCBs at the object of “Russian Railways” JSC but also to engage other electricity-generating equipment owners into the process of PCBs inventory, accounting and liquidation.

The project is performed in cooperation with “Russian Railways” JSC, SUE “Vodokanal of St. Petersburg” and Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas with the assistance of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, FSBO “Russian Energy Agency” of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation.

Focal areas of the project:

The measures of the project are realized in tree principle components:

Component 1. The establishment of the institutional legal and human capacity for the purpose of Initial implementation and further functioning of the environmentally- sound regulatory system in the field of PCBs utilization, including:

  • Reinforcement of the Government regulation and legal framework for PCBs management;
  • Insight of the employees of federal and state agencies, custom agencies, non-governmental organizations and those who work with PCBs into the directive documents relative to PCBs-polluted equipment and materials;
  • Adopting of the measures for environmentally sound regulation in the field of safe PCB-contained waste liquidation, and work safety.

Component 2. The inventory of equipment and waste polluted with PCBs in the territory of the country, including:

  • Approval of PCBs analysis methods;
  • Establishment of 3-4 laboratories accredited for PCBs analysis;
  • Taking expand inventory of the power-generating equipment (50 000 units)
  • Development the database for accounting of PCBs-contained equipment.

Component 3. The environmentally safe regulation and utilization of equipment and waste, polluted with PCBs.

  • The establishment of environmentally safe PCBs packing, storage and transportation;
  • Selection of the best available technology for the environmentally safe PCBs utilization;
  • Environmentally safe utilization of 3 800 tonnes PCBs

At the moment there are being implemented the project’s Component 1 and 2. Thus, the drafts of the regulatory acts concerning the management of the PCB-containing equipment and materials have been already worked out and directed for the approval of the Russian Executive Authorities. The sampling of the transformer oil is currently taking place at the power-generating and electrification-facilities of the “Russian Railways” JSC. The first stage of the inventory-process (5000 equipment-units) covers 5 railway roads. At the same time there are established the testing-laboratories for PCB-identification within insulating liquids. These laboratories are based on the existing facilities of the Research and Production Center for the Environmental Protection of the “Russian Railways” JSC, Gubkin Russian State Oil and Gas University and the various independent research centers. Within the Project’s framework the “Russian Railways” JSC constructed Thermal treatment Plant for the hazardous waste including PCBs-containing. The opening ceremony took place in Yaroslavl on the 28th of July 2015.

The cooperation with the new counterparts is considered among the project’s priorities. Thus, in cooperation with the FSBO “REA” there is being implemented an initiative on the involvement of the owners of the electrical equipment in the inventory-process.


  • The establishment of the legal frameworks for the environmentally safe management of the PCB-containing electrical equipment;
  • Full-scale inventory of the equipment at the facilities of the “Russian Railways” JSC and SUE “Vodokanal of St. Petersburg”. The inclusion of other transformers- and capacitors’ owners in the project;
  • The establishment of laboratory-network for PCBs analysis in insulating liquids which are available to meet the requirements of Russian energy industry;
  • Training of the well-qualified personnel for both the laboratories and the power-generating production sites;
  • The establishment of infrastructure for the environmentally safe PCBs utilization;
  • The awareness raising about the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) provisions and safe management with polluted equipment and materials.

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