Transammiak refusing to pay compensation for ammonia pipeline leak, says claims exaggerated

Quite recently a new development in the story of ammonia pipeline leakage occurred. Representatives of Transammiak company, which operates ammonia pipeline, publicly stated their position on the claims — the amount of charge issued by Voronezh authorities and supervisory and regulatory agencies regarding the damage are too high. Company even hinted that the authorities want to capitalize on the imposed penalties while Transammiak company didn’t harm the fields and fertilized them with ammonia.

“We are not opposed to reimburse actually incurred losses”, — quotes Komsomolskaya Pravda General Director of Transammiak Andrei Ivanov. — “But let’s face it: the amount of damage, which we now charged for, have nothing to do with reality. According to some articles overestimated almost a hundred times! “

A company representative said that they voluntarily repaid 1.3 million rubles to Russian state fishery agency Rosrybolovstvo. This amount we consider as the “real loss”, but the claims of Rosprirodnadzor and Rosselkhoznadzor are “fiction”. Maybe Transammiak alludes to the fact that the “soiled” with ammonia land area must pay the company? Or maybe the farmers?

The leak occurred in the Ternovo district of the Voronezh region of Russia on June 21th, causing an unprecedented environmental and health disaster that has gone underreported in both Russian and international media. According to the press release issued by Green Patrol, ammonia concentrations were found to be 50-70 times greater than the maximum permissible levels within 150 meters (492 ft) from the site of the pipe rupture. The Russian newspaper Pravda reports that a total of about 5 tons of deadly, poisonous ammonia was released into the atmosphere as a result of the accident.

The leak has led to severe pollution of air, soil and water, with irreparable damage to local flora and fauna, including agricultural crops and forests. Thousands of dead fish surfaced in the river of Sukhoi Karachan. The ammonia-contaminated soil will not be suitable for agriculture for the next 50 years.

Local authorities evacuated more than 800 people from the surrounding area. Nearby villages, also heavily affected, were instructed to take further protective measures. A cattle guard far from the accident was found passed out on the ground after prolonged ammonia inhalation. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with lung burns.

The ammonia pipeline Togliatti – Odessa where occurred the incident is under control of the chemical enterprise Togliattiazot located in the Samara region. It is a real giant in the production of ammonia and other chemical products. The ammonia pipeline was constructed during the Soviet times. Its length – 2195 km, half of which passes through the territory of Russia, and the other half – the territory of Ukraine. It is noteworthy that earlier the Russian part of the ammonia pipeline currently operated by Transammiak were directly owned by Togliattiazot. However, a few years ago Transammiak was transferred to offshore shell.