Acron Group’s flagship facility in Veliky Novgorod celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first production launch. Acron’s methanol unit released its first output in 1967. Over the past 50 years, Acron has produced 43 million tonnes of ammonia, 35.4 million tonnes of nitric acid, 32.2 million tonnes of NPK, 25.5 million tonnes of ammonium nitrate, 18.7 million tonnes of urea, 6.8 million tonnes of formalin, 6.5 million tonnes of urea-ammonium nitrate, 5 million tonnes of urea-formaldehyde resins, 4.8 million tonnes of methanol and 0.7 million tonnes of liquid carbon dioxide.
Since 2000, Acron has been pursuing an aggressive investment programme to overhaul its production units. Acron launched a 700-ktpa unit to produce UAN liquid fertiliser. Urea unit No. 5 was built, and the other four units are under full-scale reconstruction. The Company has successfully developed production of one of the world’s most popular fertilisers - NPK - from its own phosphate input produced by North-Western Phosphorous Company (Murmansk region).
In 2016, the Company launched a new 700-kt Ammonia-4 unit, the largest in Europe. President Putin attended the ceremony. The most prominent achievement at Veliky Novgorod-based Acron was the development of a process for producing rare earth elements (REE) - cerium, lanthanum and neodymium, as well as concentrates of light, medium and heavy rare earth elements, from apatite concentrate process flows. Currently, Acron has the only process in Russia to separate REE concentrates into elements in industrial-scale volumes.
Veliky Novgorod is hosting a number of events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the region’s largest company. Official ceremonies took place at all production units and divisions. On 23 May, numerous guests attended the reception held at the Acron Cultural Centre. The guest list included Novgorod region and Veliky Novgorod officials, representatives of the business community and public institutions, and the Company’s partners.
President Putin congratulated employees and retirees on the Company’s anniversary. He emphasised that Acron consistently maintains a social responsibility programme and contributes to the economic development of the regions where its companies are located as the largest employer and taxpayer. The President also noted that the Company is committed to protecting the environment, supporting culture, science and sports, and implementing significant charity projects.
In his welcome address, acting governor of the Novgorod region Andrey Nikitin emphasised the role of employees in the Company’s success, “The development of this world leading company would be impossible without its cohesive team of professionals. It is very important that Acron rewards its most loyal employees and provides aid to its almost two thousand retirees. Setting the bar very high, Acron provides an example of human capital investments for other companies. We thank all the staff for their work for the benefit of the Novgorod region”.
The Chairman of Acron’s Coordinating Board, Viatcheslav Kantor, sent a telegram of congratulations, noting that it is no surprise that Acron has become a leader on the world mineral fertiliser market and one of the three largest suppliers in Russia. “The scale of our work over the past 15 years is almost equal to building a second Acron. Over the next 5-7 years we expect to build a “third” Acron”, Kantor assured.
On the occasion of Acron’s 50th anniversary, the Chair of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko wrote a letter of appreciation emphasising the Company’s significant contribution to social and economic development and to progress in the chemical industry. During the reception, the letter of gratitude was presented to Acron’s employees by the Novgorod region’s representative to the Federation Council, Sergey Fabritchny, who noted that Acron’s success is due to effective economic, environmental and social policies, as well as the professionalism of its personnel.
A celebration of Acron’s 50th anniversary was held on 27 May at the city stadium and a nearby park, and coincided with Chemist’s Day. The events were attended by Company employees, their families and Veliky Novgorod citizens. The celebration included the opening of an outdoor fitness circuit, sports competitions, a concert, entertainment programme and a fire show.
Throughout 2017, various celebrations and contests for children and professionals dedicated to Acron’s anniversary will take place at the Company’s offices and at city venues. Sports and charity events are also organised by the Company in order to mark this important date.
As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, Acron set up a modern interactive museum gathering evidence of the numerous achievements of Company personnel over the past 50 years.