Throughout time AMT focused only on making profits without creating adequate safety for workers — Alikhan Smailov

On Saturday, August 19, in the city of Shakhtinsk under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov the meeting on the situation at the Kazakhstan mine of ArcelorMittal Temirtau JSC was held.

Akim of Karaganda region Yermaganbet Bulekpayev voiced the chronology of the accident, and also spoke about the work of a special commission to investigate the causes of the accident, formed on behalf of the Head of State. 

According to him, the mine is searching for two missing miners and extinguishing the fire at the coal conveyor slope D-6. Four departments of mine rescuers are involved in the work.

As reported by the Minister for Emergency Situations Syrym Sharipkhanov, the analysis showed that since 2016 the trend of accidents at coal mines of AMT JSC has not decreased. Thus, in 2016-2022, 18 accidents occurred, as a result of which 19 mine workers died and another 45 workers were injured of varying degrees of severity. In 2021-2022 alone, 4 accidents were recorded at the enterprises of AMT JSC, with 21 people injured and 12 people killed.

The main causes of accidents include unsatisfactory organization of technological processes, conscious disregard for safety requirements, ineffective production control, as well as wear and tear of main and auxiliary equipment.

At the end of 7 months of the current year, 6 inspections were carried out at AMT JSC's coal mining enterprises. 957 violations of industrial safety requirements were revealed. The Specialized Interdistrict Economic Court received 7 lawsuits for the suspension of 55 hazardous production facilities and hazardous technical devices. At present 25 facilities have been stopped by the court decision.

The Minister of Industry and Infrastructural Development Marat Karabayev reported that in recent years, a number of strategic documents were signed with ArcelorMittal Temirtau on investments in modernization of production and measures in the field of industrial safety. However, the company does not fulfill its obligations. 

For example, annual profits are used only to maintain current operations. For example, a number of coke batteries and the chemical recovery shop are in a state of emergency. The furnace stock is being destroyed, while no contracts for the construction of two new furnaces have been signed. As a result, it leads to a reduction in production. 

The Prime Minister emphasized that the tragedy is directly related to violations in the field of industrial safety.

"This is primarily the fault of the owners of the enterprise. Their complete self-involvement in the life of the company has led to tragic consequences for several years now. As we can see, during the entire period of activity the attention was paid only to profit making without creating a proper level of safety for workers. Therefore, accidents are often repeated. And what is most tragic is that people die," Alikhan Smailov said. 

As the head of the Government noted, every time the management of ArcelorMittal Temirtau declares about the measures taken to create safe working conditions and significant investments. However, the accidents and tragedies that occur prove the opposite. 

"Over 100 people have died at ArcelorMittal Temirtau facilities over the last 15 years. These figures are only growing every year. Every second death in the international group of companies "ArcelorMittal" falls precisely on the Kazakhstan division," Alikhan Smailov pointed out.

According to him, the environmental situation in the region requires special attention. 88% of all harmful emissions in Temirtau come from this enterprise. As a result, the townspeople have an increase in cancer, respiratory diseases and others. 

"As noted, the enterprise does not take measures to modernize production and introduce new technologies. For almost 30 years we see only the destruction of the combine. Since privatization its production indicators have been reduced by half. Steel output has halved from more than 6 million tons to 3 million last year. Coal production has decreased by almost a quarter," Prime Minister emphasized.

He also added that competencies in the production of spar and electrical steel, white tin plate and other high-margin nomenclature have been lost. As a result, the number of employed people has been reduced from 72 thousand to the current about 28 thousand. 

Alikhan Smailov pointed out that the situation with investment commitments is also not the best situation as they are only declared, but not fulfilled. In 2018, the Ministry of Industry, Karaganda Region Akimat and ArcelorMittal Temirtau signed a Roadmap for the development of the enterprise until 2020.

"Investments were declared in the amount of 305 billion tenge. However, these commitments have not been fulfilled," he emphasized. 

In 2021, it was planned to sign an Agreement on investment in modernization worth more than $3 billion. However, the company presented a project for only $1 billion. 

"In fact, these funds went for current repairs and were not long-term investments in modernization," Alikhan Smailov said. 

The Prime Minister outlined the need to take prompt measures to eliminate the accident as soon as possible, to conduct a comprehensive investigation of its causes and identify those responsible for this tragedy.

"Akimat of Karaganda region together with ArcelorMittal Temirtau should provide the necessary assistance to the dead and injured, including the appointment of benefits and social payments for loss of breadwinner, payment of funeral expenses, purchase of apartments for the families of the victims at the expense of the employer and compensation for moral damages," he concluded.

#Alikhan Smailov #The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan #Ministry for Emergency Situation #Regions

Stay updated about the events of the Prime Minister and the Government of Kazakhstan - subscribe to the official Telegram channel