Bogatyr Access Komir, the Leader of Kazakhstan’s Coal Industry
Celebrating the tenth anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence, the management and staff of the Bogatyr Access Komir coal-producing company are happy to share the results of the past five years’ performance with the readers of Invest Kazakhstan and tell them about their short-term plans and prospects.
The history of Bogatyr Access Komir can be traced back to September 1996, when Access Industries Inc. privatized the property of the Bogatyr and Stepnoy (70%) open-cast coal mines through an open tender held under a government order. Three years later, the Severny open-cast coal mine was transferred into trust management by the company as a result of negotiations between Bogatyr Access Komir and Russia’s RAO UES.
The Bogatyr Access Komir company is the largest domestic coal producing enterprise, and occupies a dominating position in the market for fuel consumed by the country’s power stations. 12 Kazakhstani and nine Russian power stations operate using the coal that the company produces.
Since the beginning of its operations, the company has produced 126m tonnes, and its volume of overburden operations has amounted to 87.5m cu m.
From 1996 to 2001, the company’s expenses within the investment programme for the purchase of the assets of the Bogatyr and Stepnoy open-cast mines and auxiliary subdivisions came to 19,597.2m tenge.
The total capital investment has exceeded 4.511m tenge. Stripping operations costs consumed 8,652.9m tenge. The cost of software, scientific research, shares in contiguous production, the investment in human potential, the German credit line and others came to 864.8m tenge.
Over 9.2bn tenge has been paid to the tax authorities of whatever level over the five years. Social payments have come to 2,712.5m tenge.
Today the enterprise comprises the Bogatyr and Severny open-cast mines, the Bogatyr and Severnoye loading and hauling departments, a plant for repairing mining transport equipment, and a track machine station.
The Bogatyr Open-Cast Mine
The construction of the Bogatyr open-cast mine began in 1966, and was completed by 1979. Its design capacity is 52m tonnes of coal per year. It is the world’s largest open-cast coalmine in terms of output. In 1985, production reached a record-high level at the mine: 56.8m tonnes. This result remains to be outdone. In November 1997, the billionth tonne of coal was produced at the Bogatyr coalmine.
Presently the open-cast coalmine comprises a complex for the production and blending of coal, and one for recovering and accepting stripped rock.
The coal strata are developed using a horizontal method, with coal being loaded immediately at the coalface into the wagons of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy. Simultaneously, interstratum rock layers are recovered and loaded into dumpcars.
On 10th July 1998, the interbenching bridge conveyor stage loader SBF-R-(k)-1800.25 (the first in world mining practice) was commissioned at the open-cast coalmine. It is designed to develop new horizons in mining by utilising a rotary excavator and loading coal onto a conveyor belt installed 25 metres above the excavator. This project alone cost $6.3m. The stage loader was made by Germany’s Man Takraf.
Since 1998, an investment development programme has been implemented at the coalmine. It consists of the following measures: using vertical conveyors for stripping coal horizons, the complete transfer of transporting stripped rock over to electricity, and the construction and commissioning of weight-dosing complexes at the Bogatyrskaya and Soyedinitelnaya stations.
The coal blending technology employed at the rotary and conveyor complex is tested at Bogatyr. The technology envisages developing the coal strata by utilising rotary excavators at two coalfaces with differing quality of coal at different horizons. Coal is loaded under a system of conveyor-railway technology providing for its blending. As a result, the loading of second quality group coal is reduced, and the production and supply of coal is increased to 100,000 tonnes per day. This improves the consumer qualities of Ekibastuz coal supplied by the coalmine to heat-power plants in Kazakhstan and Russia.
Recently, production has grown at the coalmine, mining operations have intensified, and the production’s feasibility has been boosted.
The Bogatyrskoye loading and hauling department is one of the mine’s main units. Powerful industrial locomotives, dumpcars, track equipment and auxiliary equipment are used in the work of this highly mechanized and electrified enterprise.
Considerable changes have taken place in the optimization of the production processes used at the Bogatryskoye loading and hauling department. The automated processing of coal routes was implemented on 1st October 1999. Cars are weighed whole, without stopping the train.
In general, in less than five years, the Bogatyrskoye loading and hauling department has shipped over 101.14m tonnes of coal to consumers and transported 55.4m cu m of rock to slag-heaps.
The Severny Open-Cast Coal Mine
Created on the basis of major mines of the north group of the Ekibastuz deposit, the Severny open-cast mine dispatched its 500 millionth tonne of coal in March 1986. Rotary excavators are employed in coal production at coalfaces, rock single-bucket excavators in stripping operations, and draglines at slag-heaps. Boring rigs are used for drilling hard rock.
In November 1999, Severny was handed into trust management by Bogatyr Access Komir. A new page in its history was thus opened. Between 27th November 1999 and 1st September 2001, 22m tonnes of coal were produced in the Severny mine, and 25m cu m of rock was transported to slag-heaps.
The Severnoye loading and hauling department loads and ships the coal produced. This highly mechanized facility is technologically linked to the Severny open-cast mine and field #9 of the Bogatyr open-cast mine. Its engineering base comprises four depots, ten stations, train services, railroad maintenance services, and signalling and communications facilities. The length of track comprises 108.2km.
Main Directions in Engineering Upgrades of Open-Cast Mines
The geometric form and the sloping position of the coal strata in the basin imply a constant deepening of mining operations while operating the open-cast mines. As a result, reconstruction and engineering upgrades are constantly needed.
At present the mines’ depth is at the critical mark for rail technology: 200-230 metres. This is why new conveyor and autoconveyor technologies have been adopted. Moreover, the long-term investment projects are aimed at solving three main groups of coal production problems in the basin:
Maintaining the output of the Bogatyr and Severny open-cast coal mines at the level of 48m tonnes per year and neutralizing the influence of degenerating technical mining factors on the face value and price for coal.
Increasing the commercial attractiveness and consumer qualities of the coal produced by blending coal and switching to deeper selection under new conditions, and a considerable reduction of the share of the second quality group coal.
Limiting the negative influences on the environment and improving the environmental situation in the region.
All of these provide a high competitive edge and a stable market for the power-generating coal produced by Bogatyr Access Komir.
Manpower Potential and Wages
Manpower potential is one of the most important strategic factors defining the success of an enterprise’s activities. It is no accident that the members of a trilateral committee for social partnership in the coal industry–representatives from the Kazakhstani Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, employers and sector labour unions–have acknowledged the expertise of our company in working with personnel as being the best in the coal industry.
From the foundation of the company to October 2001, the number of personnel employed at the enterprise grew from 4,396 to 9,611. More than 13% have a higher education and 26.1% received secondary vocational education.
The company has established its own staff training system. Various vocational colleges and higher education institutions receive information about the professions demanded at Bogatyr Access Komir. A corporate training base has been created. The training point has a license for educating specialists in 156 professions, and up to 3,500 persons study there each year. There is also a provision stipulating the encouragement of talented university graduates. They have their travel costs and accommodation paid during their internship. After the latter is over, the best ones are hired and receive apartments paid for by the company. In 2001, 159 persons from the company were studying at higher educational institutions and colleges. The average wage at Bogatyr Access Komir makes up 29,000 tenge. It has been increased three times over the past five years.
The company’s payment system is combined with numerous privileges and guarantees designed to stimulate its employees’ motivation. Every employee receives a nutrition subsidy of 1,500 tenge, plus a utilities subsidy of 1,800 tenge in winter and 700 tenge in summer. The company spends 18m tenge on these bonuses every year. Since the beginning of its activities, the company has spent over 686m tenge on payments for social welfare and other subsidies.
Occupational Safety and the Social Sphere
One of the company’s priorities lies in improving its occupational safety. As a result of measures taken by the company, occupational injuries have been cut by 47%. Eight health stations are in operation at the company. The company pays for regular medical examinations for its employees, and ensures that inoculations and other special treatment is available to them. The employer also pays for 75% of the cost of tickets to spas and resorts (plus one-way travel costs). Bogatyr Access Komir maintains the Karlygash recreation camp for the children of employees and the Berezka spa, located in the picturesque vicinity of the Bayan Aul national wildlife reserve. Children’s tickets are also fully paid by the company.
Bogatyr Access Komir provides financial assistance for its employees. Educational loans, house purchase loans, and loans to purchase consumer durables are available. The amount of material aid and social payments from the wage fund comprised 241m tenge in Ekibastuz over the first half of 2001.
Bogatyr Access Komir regularly provides charity and sponsor assistance. Over 1.1bn tenge has been spent for this purpose. The company has provided backing for the Culture Support Fund in Pavlodar and the Irtysh Sport Club, given aid to Blagoveschensk cathedral, and provided assistance for the construction of a mosque in Pavlodar, amongst others.
The company strives to improve the environmental situation in the Ekibastuz coal basin. Bogatyr Access Komir’s experts have upgraded the technology used in piling coaly rocks in slag-heaps, and isolate them in order to prevent spontaneous combustion.
Despite growing competition on the part of Russian and Kazakhstani enterprises, we are certain that Ekibastuz coal will retain its key position in Kazakhstan and Russia’s energy complexes. Achieving these goals will ensure that the Ekibastuz coal basin flourishes for years to come. We would like to encourage you to co-operate and build the future together with us.
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