Zaporizhia has been one of the largest industrial centres of Ukraine since the beginning of the Soviet Union. Thanks to the available reserves of coal, iron ore, and manganese, engineering, heavy industry, metallurgy, the chemical industry, automobile production, and aircraft engines are concentrated here.
The residents of Zaporizhia have long complained about the high concentration of plants located directly in the city. The plants are technically obsolete; they mostly date back to the 1930s and cause massive air pollution. To add to the effect, the main highway also runs through the centre. The data monitoring and publishing system appears to have been inadequate for a long time: there are only five measuring stations in the city and those at locations that do not suffer the highest levels of pollution. The industrial part of Zaporizhia is located in the northeast of the city, a residential area in the south. The Soviet engineers did not consider the direction of the wind and therefore winds from the north-east regularly carry harmful substances directly into the residential areas.
In October 2015, a successful demonstration by residents of Zaporizhia took place, with the aim of improving the air in the city. Since 2017, the Ekozaporozhie coalition has been operating in the city; it is engaged in promoting independent pollution monitoring and environmental education.
The main sources of air pollution in Zaporizhia:
Ukrainsky Grafit (Укрграфит)
A Ukrainian graphite producer, founded in 1933. Until 1994, Dnepropetrovsk elektrotechnny plant / Dneprovskij elektronyi zavod.
Zaporozhye Ferroalloy Plant (Запорожский завод ферросплавов / Zaporozhskyy Zavod Ferrosplavov)
The main products of the plant are various ferroalloys: ferrosilicomanganese, ferrosilicon, ferromanganese, and manganese metal. Moreover, the plant produces metallurgical lime and sells ferro alloy slags, which are used predominantly in construction and building. The construction of the plant started in 1931.
Zaporizhkoks is one of the largest coke chemical plants in Ukraine, constructed in 1934 and privatized in 1995. In August 1997 the plant was included in the list of enterprises of strategic importance for the economy and security of Ukraine. In 2013, the plant produced 1.15 million tonnes of coke. In January-May 2015 the plant reduced its production, but during this period it produced 430 thousand tonnes of coke. 51% of the shares in PJSC Zaporozhkoks belong to the “Metinvest” group and 42 % of them to Zaporizhstal. On March 16, 2017, an explosion occurred at the plant, which killed four people.
JSC Electrometallurgical Works Dneprospetsstal named after A. N. Kuzmin (Днепроспецсталь / Dneprospecstal)
A manufacturer of special stainless steel, founded as a state-run enterprise in 1932. Now it’s a publicly traded company which manufactures and sells metal products made of stainless, tool, high-speed (including those produced by the PM method), bearing, structural, alloyed, and carbon steel grades.
Constructed in 1933, Zaporizhstal is Ukraine’s fourth-largest steelmaker. The Ukrainian holding company Metinvest became its sole owner in 2013. The largest shareholder of the plant is Rinat Akhmetov. In 2015, the company made 3.81 million tonnes of cast iron, 3.98 million tonnes of steel, and 3.35 million tonnes of rolled steel. According to the company, since 2012, Zaporozhstal has directed more than 8.5 billion hryvnias to eco-modernization and has become the plant receiving the greatest amount of investment of any in Ukraine.
Titano-magilevyi kombinat (Титано-магниевый комбинат)
The company was founded in 1935 under the name “Dneprovsky Magnesium Plant” and was the first industrial producer of magnesium in the USSR. Nowadays it’s the only manufacturer of sponge titanium in Europe. The main products of the plant: sponge titanium, purified titanium tetrachloride, shaped titanium castings, titanium ingots, ferrotitanium, and titanium slag.
Beside all above, there is also the Abrazivnyi kombinat (Абразивный комбинат) and the Motor Sich (Мотор Сич).