Pavel Finagin – Ecological innovations boost profitability

Engineer Pavel Finagin has been with the Soda chemical works his entire working life. He focused on technological solutions for the company in his dissertation, which subsequently served as his ticket into the company. The manager with German roots owes his fast-tracked career to his attitude to life: “One should stay where one is needed.”

And Pavel Finagin is most certainly needed at Soda. The chemical works, which were built 65 years ago, had long been looking for effective ways of reducing unusable production waste – ten kilograms of fluid calcium chloride are produced for every kilogram of soda, and the by-product is collected in vast waste water treatment plants before being fed back into the Belaja river. This technology is not only detrimental to the environment, but also requires massive investments for the construction of increasingly modern collection tanks.

One month before his stay in Germany, Pavel Finagin was officially entrusted with finding a solution to this problem, so he contacted German technology providers and arranged appointments for visits. By comparing different solutions in Germany and Italy – where he had previously spent some time – he was able to gain a clear impression of the existing procedures.

Just one month after Finagin’s return, Soda AG published a call for tender for the construction of a filtration plant. A German company based in Cologne won the bid for the million-euro project with its zero waste technology. The modern filtration station converts the waste into solid matter – which can then be used as a building material or as a fertiliser for acidic soils – and into pure calcium chloride, the in-demand raw material needed for granulate.

The investments are expected to amortise within just two years. Foregoing the construction of expensive collection tanks and the sale of new products made this possible. The overfilled absorption fields are gradually being recultivated and the Belaja is no longer contaminated. This is a solution that is future-oriented both in terms of ecology and economics.

Successful manager Finagin advises future programme participants: “Always set yourself realistic goals.”

Name: Pavel Finagin
Company: AG Soda, Sterlitamak, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia
Sector: Chemical industry
Position: Head of the innovation and technological development department
Training in Germany: 8 September – 7 October, 2009
Training centre: Carl Duisberg Centren, Cologne