About project

UNIDO/GEF Project “Environmentally sound management and final disposal of PCBs at the Russian Railroad network and other PCBs owners”

Project number

GF/RUS/12/002 SAP ID 140019


February 2014 – December 2020


Global Environmental Facility

Coordinating authority

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation 


Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation

“Russian Railways” JSC

SUE “Vodokanal of St. Petersburg”

FSBI HPE “ Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas”

GEF Grant

US$ 7,200,000


US$ 34, 200,000

Project cost

US$ 41,600,000


The objective of the Project is the establishment of the system for PCBs management in the Russian Federation within implementation of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) provisions. The Project envisages the establishment of PCB identification system in insulating liquids of electric power equipment, and also consequent labeling and disposal of PCBs-contaminated equipment in environmentally sound manner. The project is the first stage of the nation-wide program on phasing-out of PCBs in all branches of industry.

Within the Project it is planned to establish the regulatory system for PCB-contaminated equipment- and wastes management and its safe disposal. In this regard, the project team is actively working on drafting and promotion of PCBs inventory rules and regulations, as well as the Guidance on management of PCB-contaminated equipment.

The important part of the Project is to increase the level of competence of the specialists involved in PCBs management at all its stages, including sampling, quantitative and qualitative chemical analysis of transformer oils, decommissioning of PCBs-contaminated equipment and environmentally safe PCBs disposal; as well as public authorities awareness-raising about the PCBs-related problems and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) provisions.

At the time of the Project start there was no management system for hazardous substances, PCBs-contained materials and equipment elimination in Russia. There is a big quantity of oil-filled electrically-powered equipment potentially polluted with PCBs in the Russian territory, which must be put out of commission till 2025. By 2028 as consistent with the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the PCBs-contained equipment and materials must be eliminated. Singular installations for hazardous substances elimination, including pesticides and PCBs, that exist nowadays don’t meet the industrial requirements for the elimination of polluted materials and sometimes even fall short of accepted ecological norms on the part of emissions and discharges. Within the framework of UNIDO project there will be established the infrastructure that will not only allow to put out of commission and dispose PCBs at the object of “Russian Railways” JSC but also to engage other electricity-generating equipment owners into the process of PCBs inventory, accounting and elimination.

The Project is implemented in cooperation with “Russian Railways” JSC, SUE “Vodokanal of St. Petersburg” and Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas with the assistance of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, FSBO “Russian Energy Agency” of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation.



The project is implemented in three main components:

Component 1. Institutional regulatory and human resources capacity building for establishment and operation of environmentally sound management (ESM) system for PCB disposal, including:

  • Reinforcement of the Government regulation and legal framework for PCBs management;
  • Training of federal and regional government agencies, customs authorities, NGOs and PCB staff on new regulations;
  • Adopting of the measures for environmentally sound regulation in the field of safe PCB-contained waste liquidation, and work safety.

Component 2. Country-wide inventory of PCB-contaminated equipment and wastes, including:

  • Approval of PCBs analysis methods;
  • Establishment of 3-4 laboratories accredited for PCBs analysis;
  • Inventory of the power-generating equipment (50 000 units);
  • Development of PCBs-contained equipment database.

Component 3. Environmentally sound management (ESM) and disposal of PCB contaminated equipment and wastes.

  • The establishment of environmentally safe PCBs packaging, storage and transportation;
  • Selection of the best available technology for the environmentally safe PCBs disposal;
  • Environmentally safe disposal of 3’800 tons of PCBs.



  • Establishment of the legal framework for the environmentally safe management of the PCB-containing electrical equipment;
  • Full-scale inventory of the equipment at the facilities of the “Russian Railways” JSC and SUE “Vodokanal of St. Petersburg”. Attraction of other transformers- and capacitors’ owners to the Project;
  • Establishment of laboratory-network for PCBs analysis in insulating liquids which are available to meet the requirements of Russian energy industry;
  • Training of the well-qualified personnel for both the laboratories and the power-generating production sites;
  • Establishment of infrastructure for the environmentally safe PCBs disposal;
  • Awareness raising about the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) provisions and safe management of polluted equipment and materials.