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Air pollution from Makstil AD, Skopje, Macedonia


Description

Skopje is the capital of Macedonia and represents a typical example of an industrialized city from the ex- Yugoslavia. Most of the “socialist” era facilities are closed; however, several of them are still in operation. Considering the fact that Skopje is in a valley, environmental pollution of the air is enormously high especially during autumn months.

One of the biggest air polluters is the Iron smelting factory- Makstil AD (Maksteel) that is situated very close to the center of the City. Makstil AD is an integrated producer of flat rolled steel products established in 1997 upon privatization and reconstruction of the former Mines and Iron & Steelworks Skopje, with Duferco Group as its main partner.

Since 2008, the citizens of Skopje and neighboring settlements have been protesting against the air pollution, and particularly against Makstil AD identified as the main air polluter, calling it “Skopje’s Chernobyl”. In December 2013, the environmental organization Ekosvest organized a petition against the company. The protests and marches became frequent, and have resulted in blockades and occupation of the factory in May and June 2014.

The Law on Environment, adopted in 2005 and harmonized with international legislation on air quality and emissions, obliged Makstil AD to by April 2014 apply for the “A” Integrated Environmental Permit and prepare an Action plan for use of clean technologies to limit the pollution, particularly of dust and micro-particles. The company asked the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning for various years of extension for accomplishing these requests; however, only 6 extra months have been approved i.e. the end of October 2014. Besides, the government requested from the State Inspectorate for Environment to impose to the company a several hundred thousand Euros fine.

At the moment the company is in operation while undertaking activities for development of the technical requirement for obtaining a Permit. The Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning is constantly monitoring the works.

Moreover, as a result of the citizens’ protests, the Ministry has been establishing of the mobile measuring units to monitor the air pollution from the factory. However, it is hard to know for sure which part of the pollution results from the Makstil operation and which from the other sources e.g. transport and other industries. The citizens and the Macedonian Green Party demanded closing the factory till obtaining “A” Environmental Permit. The Director of the Environment Inspectorate claimed the factory will be closed if it fails to fulfill the requirements until prescribed deadline. However, Makstil managed to complete all requirements for obtaining environmental permit by the 31 of October 2014. The factory resumed its production in January 2015 after a trial run of the gas filtration system. According to the company representatives, the steel factory now operates respecting the stricter environmental standards in accordance with the EU regulations.  

Basic Data

NameAir pollution from Makstil AD, Skopje, Macedonia
CountryMacedonia, FYR
SiteSkopje
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level

Source of Conflict

Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Metal refineries
Specific CommoditiesIron ore
Steel

Project Details and Actors

Project DetailsMakstil ended 2013 with a net profit of $68,100. The volume of finished goods production fell 30% to 154,282 tonnes.

The company targets are production of 120,000 tonnes of semi-finished casting products (slabs) and 180,000 tonnes of hot-rolled finished products (heavy plates) in 2014.
Project Area (in hectares)185,400
Level of Investment (in USD)24,800,000 (dust collection system)
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population668,511
Start Date2008
End Date01/11/2014
Company Names or State EnterprisesMakstil AD Skopje (Makstil) from Macedonia, FYR - Owner of the plant
Duferco Group from United States of America
STG (Tecoaer) (STG) from Italy - Building of a gas filtration system in Makstil
Relevant government actorsThe Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning of Macedonia; The State Inspectorate for Environment, Macedonia
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersNGO Ekosvest: http://www.ekosvest.com.mk/; The Macedonian Green Party

The Conflict and the Mobilization

Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
OtherRespiratory diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Other socio-economic impacts
OtherReduced air quality

Outcome

Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseEnvironmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Application of existing regulations
Fine and penalties; Filters installed
Development of AlternativesThe company representatives said that in the last two to three years Makstil factory has been working with 30% of its capacity with aim to reduce air pollution.

Green Party and citizens demanded no more penalties but rather introduction of filters following the environmental standards prescribed by the European Union. They also asked for closure of the factory until the necessary environmental improvements have been met.
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.The factory has installed filters.

Sources and Materials

Legislations

THE LAW ON ENVIRONMENT
http://faolex.fao.org/docs/pdf/mac105107.pdf

Law on Ambient Air Quality
http://www.asser.nl/upload/eel-webroot/www/documents/cms_eel_id75_2_Law%20on%20ambient%20air%20quality.pdf

Links

ENVIRONMENT MINISTER ADEMI WILL CLOSE MAKSTIL
http://www.mactel.com.au/newsite/?page=news&news=44920&lang=en

Maksteel will meet the requirements for the A integrated environmental permit according the schedule
http://kurir.mk/en/?p=35839

STEEL FACTORY IN MACEDONIA DUBBED ‘SKOPJE’S CHERNOBYL’
http://www.greenfudge.org/2014/05/18/steel-factory-macedonia-skopjes-chernobyl/

Links on protests in macedonian
http://www.time.mk/c/cdc81ea9bb/protesti-protiv-zagaduvanje-na-skopska-zelezara.html

Makstil to Meet Requirements for "A" Integrated Environmental Permit
http://www.independent.mk/articles/7030/Makstil+to+Meet+Requirements+for+%22A%22+Integrated+Environm18ental+Permit

INTERVIEW - Macedonia's Makstil eyes profit in 2014, to invest 10 mln euro in new equipment
http://wire.seenews.com/news/interview-macedonias-makstil-eyes-profit-in-2014-to-invest-10-mln-euro-in-new-equipment-430805

Maksteel will meet the requirements for the A integrated environmental permit according the schedule
http://kurir.mk/en/?p=35839

Companies must invest in environment
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Companies+must+invest+in+environment.-a0350679990

New filtration system to reduce Maksil's pollution
http://english.republika.mk/?p=129085

Links to "Lungs funeral" performance
http://www.time.mk/c/1a163e181b/video-pogrebna-povorka-za-belite-drobovi.html

Макстил за три месеци оствари добивка од 2,1 милиони денари
http://bi.mk/makstil-za-tri-meseci-ostvari-dobivka-od-2-1-milioni-denari/

Makstil Duferco
http://www.duferco.com/industry.aspx?Page=Makstil&id=85

Makstil completes ecopermit commitments
http://english.republika.mk/makstil-completes-eco%C2%ADpermit-commitments/

Jugohrom Makstil to stop operations until meeting environmental standards
http://english.republika.mk/jugohrom-makstil-to-stop-operations-until-meeting-environmental-standards/

Makstil ceases operations to install filtration system
http://english.republika.mk/makstil-ceases-operations-to-install-filtration-system/

Makstil steel mill to resume more environmentally friendly production by mid January
http://english.republika.mk/makstil-steel-mill-to-resume-more-environmentally-friendly-production-by-mid-january/

Media Links

Zagaduvanje od Zelezara Skopje
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGkwO48Yy34

Загадување Железара Скопје
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MWa65XSI8U

„Макстил" престанува со работа!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BZF-KDa2MQ

Анкета за Железара
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_S9zde1rSI

Макстил испушта околу 8 000 тони прашинa
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXjJxGTBnmk

Железара закана за Скопје - Zelezara zakana za Skopje 2012
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuRZhAIZXqM

Протест Железара (изјави на граѓани)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlX4fzakC5I

Протест Железара инсерти
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDw-LEDq5ig

Протест Железара инсерти
Zelezara - enormno ispustanje cad i gasovi

Other Documents

Protests against Makstil- Skopje’s Chernobyl The sign reads “We want clean air”
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/clean_air.jpg

Pollution from Makstil Cloud of smoke and dust from Makstil threatening Skoplje
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/makstil.jpg

Protests against Makstil The sign reads “Stop the pollution from the steel factory"
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/Protest_agains_Makstil_2.jpg

Meta Information

ContributorJovanka Spiric, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, vankajo(at)gmail.com
Last update18/05/2016

Images

 

Protests against Makstil- Skopje’s Chernobyl

The sign reads “We want clean air”

Pollution from Makstil

Cloud of smoke and dust from Makstil threatening Skoplje

Protests against Makstil

The sign reads “Stop the pollution from the steel factory"