The March 2020 inauguration of the new potash mining & processing facility in Solikamsk, Russia marks another successful milestone for Uralkali, a major supplier of potash to the world. Penetron crystalline technology was applied to protect the exposed concrete structures from the harsh Russian climate.
A leading global producer of potash, Uralkali employs approximately 12,700 people throughout five mines and seven ore-processing facilities in the towns of Berezniki and Solikamsk in the Ural Mountains region of Russia to produce around 11 million tons of potash annually. The company controls the entire potash supply chain, from ore mining to the export of standard and granular potassium chloride (KCl) to over 60 countries, including Brazil, India, China, Southeast Asia, the USA, and the EU.
An Essential Ingredient for Life
“Potash is an essential component in the development of all living organisms,” explains Igor Chernogolov, President of Penetron Russia. “It’s a critical ingredient to improve crop yields on farms, a component of feed for livestock and an important part of our diet as it promotes cell metabolism and body functions.”
The recent construction of a new mining complex in Solikamsk comprised two mine shafts (almost 400 m / 1,320 feet deep), a processing plant, a vast conveyor belt system, a potash storage bunker, and a logistics building. Because of the extreme environmental conditions experienced in that region of Russia and the difficult geological conditions, the project engineers at Souz SV reached out to specialists at Penetron Perm, the regional Penetron distributor, to provide a waterproofing solution for the below-grade concrete components in the new buildings.
Impervious to Climatic Conditions
The contractors used PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete to construct the foundation slabs of the processing plant and storage bunker, and the pile caps of the logistics building. Added during the batching phase, PENETRON ADMIX becomes an integral part of the concrete matrix by forming a network of insoluble crystals, making the concrete impermeable. This network provides protection against deterioration caused by chemical attack, freeze-thaw cycles and corrosion throughout the lifespan of the structure.
“The use of PENETRON ADMIX provided a durable and permanent concrete waterproofing solution that will last for the lifetime of the concrete, even in the harsh environmental conditions found in Ural region of Russia,” says Igor Chernogolov. “It also helped Souz SV finish construction of the Solikamsk mine on time and minimizes the need for any future maintenance for Uralkali.”