They found "black gold" in the village of Oranchitsy. And it's not oil!

Author: Antonina HOKIMOVA / photo by Ivan OSKIRKO / / 12.08.2021 /
English Translation: DeepL Translate
The swamp-forest massif a few kilometers from the Oranchitsy railway station has kept its secret for centuries. And now, under the layer of peat lifted by machines, you can see a denser black substance — sapropel. Some of it is already drying in piles. Imaginatively shaped boulders are scattered everywhere. Tracks of wild animals that come here "for vitamins" can be seen everywhere. And in some areas the machines are still clearing the area of trees and bushes.

What nature has done

Grigorii PEREKHOD, head of the production department of AGROSEMPRODUCT, pulls a young tree with a strong root system from this fertile soil: "It is hard to find a better argument in favor of the "fertility elixir".
Григорий ПЕРЕХОД,​ начальник производственного участка ОДО "АГРОСЕМПРОДУКТ"
Grigorii PEREKHOD, head of the production area of ALC "AGROSEMPRODUCT".
These are bottom sediments that have formed over the centuries. As the glacier receded, lakes formed and plankton inhabited them. Remains of plankton, living organisms and soil humus without air access formed the unique qualities of sapropel. The age of our sapropel is about 10 thousand years. At the bottom of the lake, which once existed here, we can find round stones rolled by the glacier: basalt, granite, marble, and even quartz, which is considered to be a companion of gold.
The deposit with the unusual name "Udhodva" is 100 hectares of wetlands. It contains about 1 million 100 thousand "cubes" of sapropel. And the reserves of "black gold" in Belarus are estimated at about 1 billion tons.

Drilling fluids are more efficient

The production plant of ALC "AGROSEMPRODUCT" is located in Oranchitsy (on the territory of the former agricultural machinery plant). But it didn't start with sapropel. The main activity of the company is production of liquid micro-fertilizer "ADOB Bor" for all kinds of crops. The fertilizer is in demand not only in Belarus, but also in Ukraine and Russia. The capacity allows to produce up to 2 million liters of fertilizer per year. But production is seasonal. In order for the team not to be idle in summer and winter, an additional direction was needed. A nearby deposit of peat and sapropel came just in time.
Grigorii PEREKHOD, who has been working with sapropel for about 20 years in cooperation with the country's leading scientists, is convinced of the prospects of this direction:
Last year we started supplying PA Belorusneft. It is the main consumer of Sapropel for drilling fluids (this composition allows to accelerate the drilling of wells by 30-40%). Sapropel ALC "AGROSEMPRODUCT" has been used at two sites, which was preceded by a complicated approval process - laboratory and practical researches together with the Institute of Oil in Gomel. It turned out that the sapropel-based drilling mud is superior in some parameters to the synthetic ones imported from the USA and Canada, and at the same time it is cheaper. This conclusion allows us to participate in tenders and make deliveries. 300 tons of sapropel have already been delivered to Belorusneft. This market in the country is estimated at 20-30 thousand tons per year.

...And strawberries are sweeter

Farmers often come to the base of ALC "AGROSEMPRODUCT" in Oranchitsy and load 10-kilogram sacks of sapropel into the trailer. Many of them are convinced by their own experience that this valuable fertilizer helps to restore the natural fertility of the soil and improve the quality of the harvest (in terms of protein and sugar content). Strawberries fed with the "elixir of fertility" become sweeter and more nutritious. Another important property of Sapropel is the reduction of nitrates, heavy metals and radioactive elements.

The company's products were of interest to the Kobrin Experimental Forestry. Thanks to it, the seedlings in the nurseries took root better, their root system is strong. The company is waiting for the conclusion of the scientists of the Forest Institute and the Scientific and Practical Center of the Ministry of Forestry, to which samples of Oranchitsa sapropel were sent for research.
Sapropel is the only organic fertilizer suitable for radical improvement (recultivation) and soil remediation. In this respect, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates can be considered a promising market. These countries have a government program for greening (planting trees) supported by large subsidies. They want to improve natural exchanges and mitigate climate change. But potential partners are not interested in 100 or 200 tons they need large volumes. And for us that means complicated logistics, cars, renting warehouses... It is unacceptable to disrupt the terms of contracts. Nevertheless, we are working on it, we are preparing our business proposals. We are also considering options to enter the European and Chinese markets.

Cosmetic masks and feed additives

By the way. The company "Faberlic" produces cosmetic masks on the basis of sapropel. And it would be strange if the sanatorium "Ruzhansky", located not far from Orancice, was not interested in local products. We sent them for testing - and the therapeutic muds showed a good effect.
But the main use of versatile sapropel at the company still considers feed additives made of it.
We buy protein in Ukraine in the form of meal and expensive premixes, which increases the cost of milk and meat. That is why meat production is unprofitable for farms today. However, scientists have proved that adding Sapropel to fodder increases protein assimilation by 75% instead of 50% and reduces the need for premixes. We should use this reserve, otherwise we will have to import more and more meat and poultry from abroad, because the cost price is lower there.
The difficult process of registering a feed additive is already in its final stages.


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