Mr. Almin Suljić, Managing Director of GIKIL: “We cooperate with more than 400 companies; the value of export surpasses 300 million BAM

Around 23 million BAM was contributed in environment protection within the period from 2020 to 2024.

Global Ispat Koksna Industrija Lukavac (GIKIL) was in the last year the biggest importer in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the fourth biggest exporter. The volume of imports of this industrial giant, according to the statement of the Managing Director Mr. Almin Suljić, sums up to approximately 200, and the exports between 300 and 400 million BAM. 

– We mostly import coking coal for the coke production. There are several deposits of such coal in the world, and we import most of it from the United States of America. Coal comes to the port of Ploče by vessels. It is afterwards loaded into wagons and sent to GIKIL by rail. We also export by rail, mostly coke, and last year, 80 percent of the coke ended up in Serbia, specifically the steel plant in Smederevo. We also export by-products, crude tar and benzene, to the Czech Republic and Germany, also by rail. Furthermore, we produce maleic anhydride (AMK), which we export by road transport, mostly to Italy and Turkey. It is a raw material that is widely used in production, as a polymer; it is mixed into paints, varnishes etc. However, without the railway we would not be able to survive. I must point out very good relations with the management of Railways FBiH. Within our company, we have 12-13 rail tracks. We have a railway department consisting of 55 people and three locomotives used for internal transport of raw materials. Only within GIKIL we have about 40 kilometres of rail tracks – says Mr. Suljić for Faktor.

When we know the significance of the railroad for GIKIL and the business volume of our company, the question emerges about the initiative for the reconstruction of the railroad on the Doboj – Tuzla – Zvornik route, which was recently announced by the Minister for Transport and Communications of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Edin Forto, who emphasized Serbia’s great interest in this project worth approximately 500 million euros.

– The reconstruction of the railroad line would mean a lot to us, as there is frequently a bottleneck in logistics and shipping due to transport limitations. The transport would be much quicker, which would enable a greater turnover of goods – says Mr. Suljić.

According to GIKIL’s data, this company with more than 900 employees annually cooperates directly with more than 400 domestic legal entities, i.e. suppliers. Moreover, GIKIL contributes approximately 25 percent within the trade of Željeznice FBiH, per annum, a turnover worth almost 23.5 million BAM, and this fact indicates the significance of restructuring of the railroad and in general road infrastructure in BiH. 

We are a strategic company, both for the Tuzla Canton and the whole country. Regardless of our business results: profit or loss, many companies are connected with us. We are vital for the whole economy and economics. We participate with 1.5 percent within the GDP of the whole country and approximately 14.6 percent of the trade of Tuzla Csnton, and 47 percent of the economy of the Lukavac municipality. This year, economy was influenced by the crisis in the steel industry, i.e. the drop in demand; one of the causes is the Ukrainian war. The cost of steel fell, which influences the coke production. A few steel plants in Europe have ceased production due to exceptionally low demand. We had less demand and this year, unlike the past one, we’ll end with loss. The balance sheet isn’t complete yet, so we don’t know precisely how much it’ll sum up to. Raw materials are not available in BiH, therefore we are huge importers, but also exporters, and our costs, input and yield, are managed by the market – says Mr. Suljić. 

Environmental pollution has continuously been attributed to GIKIL; however the fact is that there has been progress in this field as approximately 23 million BAM was invested in environment protection activities from 2020 to 2024.

– When it comes to GIKIL, one can hear stories about harm to the environment. It is true that some of our equipment is outdated, but coke is produced in this way also in Hungary in Dunaujvaros. The same method is used in Poland. There is a general trend that everything ought to be stopped, since there are no such plants in Europe. This year, the same kind of coking plant is to be opened in Poland, modernized though and with fewer emissions, and that’s only one of the batteries. They got a loan from the state for this project. It isn’t true that this industry is ceasing in Europe. It is continuously imputed to us that the plant should be shut down. In Poland, an EU member and central European country there are batteries that within two months produce the quantity of our annual capacity. – Mr. Suljić pointed out. 

Coke Plant Lukavac with the new Management on the path of big changes

Optimizing Plants and Facilities with Environmental Protection is the Main Focus of Work

One of the main activities that we quickly carried out at Global Ispat Koksna Industrija d.o.o. Lukavac in the past time is the implementation of projects to prevent and reduce the emission of harmful substances into the water, as well as to protect the water source in general. Activities are carried out according to a dynamic plan, under the acquired water permits and the integrated environmental permits of which they are an integral part.

According to the Manager for Environment Protection, Emra Halilović, for the collection of technological, precipitation-polluted, and sanitary-faecal wastewater, as well as for their purification and treatment, all technical-investment paperwork has been completed at the  main implementation projects level. A separate sewage system is also specified in the project documentation.

 “At the coke storage and coal preparation warehouse, gravity filtration facilities have been built. All are working and delivering the required results. The most important aspect is that the cleaned sediment is returned to the landfill and used as a raw material in the production process. In fact, the suspended solids in the primary sediment are particles of coal and coke. As a result, there is no waste or overflow into other streams and regulatory limit values ​​are met,” pointed out Halilović.

The physicochemical and biological wastewater treatment optimization project is the only facility of its kind in the region and one of the largest and most important projects underway. The purpose is to ensure the limit values ​​specified in the Ordinance on conditions for discharge into the environment and public sewers.

 “Based on input parameters, performed analyses and required output parameters of purified water, the optimal solution is predicted to obtain pure water from technical wastewater after undergoing all necessary processing steps. A sludge storage tank and a sludge dewatering device will also be installed.” clarifies Halilović

At the same time, a project was completed to collect tar condensate from the Coke plant gas pipeline that will be transferred to the tar pumping station and then to the existing physicochemical and biological treatment at the Biology plant. Talking about the importance of the project, Executive Director for production clarifies that the same was done not only at the Power plant, but also on the gas pipelines of defrosting hall, separation and biology, while grease and oil separators were installed at the Benzene plant and at the gas holder at the Coke plant which also provides the required results.


“Operations have also started to implement, collect, treat and discharge industrial wastewater from the Power plant. The necessary pipes and inspection shafts were procured. Since these works are also widely implemented on the ground, the effect will soon be visible”, he adds.

At the Filter Station, the quartz sand was replaced in the sand filters and the corrosion protection was completed.

“At the same time, the preliminary and main project to collect, treat and discharge industrial wastewater from the filter station was completed. This is one of our biggest and most important projects, along with the project for water licensing project. The works have already started and we will see immediate effects as this will prevent suspended solids from entering the Jala River”, emphasizes Suljić.

Measures to Prevent and Reduce Harmful Emissions into the Air

With regard to air protection and atmospheric emissions, in recent times maximum attention has been paid to technological improvements in the production of raw coke gas and coking ovens.

In addition to improving technical accuracy when selecting coal blends, it is very important to have regular and unscheduled crusher overhauls for precise grinding of the blend, coke ports and ducts, as well as firewall replacement. In addition, an overhaul of the charging machines was carried out for the proper filling of the coking ovens, as well as a general overhaul of the coke gas suction system.

Repairs to the damage to the coke oven walls of the V-Coke Battery are underway and according to the Managing Director, Dževad Kasumović, the Management has decided to replace the battery’s complete platform.

„Wall renovation includes coke oven ceramic welding. Apart from the fact that it is a very complex and demanding job done at very high temperatures, the refurbishment is progressing well and about 50% of the work is already completed. All chambers, or ovens, will be renovated in this way before the end of the year. In addition, besides replacing the entire platform, it not only extends the active operation of the battery and makes better use of the coke extraction process, but above all contributes significantly to reducing harmful emissions which is the most important goal“, explains Kasumović.

Additional coke battery production and environmental improvements will be achieved early next year when two new machines will be installed.

„It is a smokeless coal charging machine and a coke receiving machine that were not working before. With new machines there will be no more waste or emissions. They have been ordered and are currently in production and are scheduled for commissioning by February 2023. All of these aim not only to improve production and technical processes, but also to reduce uncontrolled emissions into the atmosphere“, concludes Kasumović.


Significant reductions in air pollutant emissions have also been achieved by terminating activities at the Power plant. A completely new gas pipeline was put into operation to supply gas to the boilers. Smoke tubes, burner casings, combustion chamber, sieve tubes were replaced, walls around burners were repaired, outside air fans and walls were repaired, and boiler desludging was carried out. A new water heater, economizer and air heater were installed in the chimney to improve combustion in the boiler and reduce emissions.

„The PLC control system was also replaced, achieving improved regulation, air heating, the possibility of adding more air to the burner and a better gas-air mixture, better combustion formation which reduces emissions into the air“, emphasizes Almin Suljić, Executive Director for Production.

„There are currently no emissions or pollution from the Fertilizer plant, specifically since October 2021, when the Management decided to temporarily suspend the operation of the Fertilizer plant“, confirms the Managing Director, Dževad Kasumović.

„The decision was made solely due to the cessation of production caused by long-term economic and financial consequences and realized losses. All labour force is retained and assigned to other plants and departments“, says Kasumović.

On the other hand, at the maleic anhydride plant, the catalyst has been replaced and the compressor has been overhauled, and new investments are underway.

„Replacing the catalytic converter significantly reduced the concentration of carbon monoxide in the exhaust. Here, the project to reduce the concentration of xylene in the exhaust gas is expected to be implemented by the end of the year. Another major investment underway at this plant is the purchase a new reactor that should further reduce harmful emissions into the air. At the same time, we are working on improving the technological process related to wastewater treatment technology at AMK plant“, emphasizes Kasumović.

Special care should be taken to avoid ground emissions and harmful effects on the ground. Following the success of the land remediation project, the potential for biological restoration of areas devastated by industrial waste was explored with the help of the Cantonal Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environmental Protection and other participants. The project was carried out with the support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Science, after which more than 500 saplings of silver spruce, red maple, white and black pine, Paulownia elongata and other flowers were planted within the entire GIKIL complex.

Minimizing Waste Production and Waste Management

The treatment and use of waste is carried out in accordance with the Law on Waste Management and the Waste Management Plan. Waste monitoring has been established, the place of generation has been identified, and a register of waste by type, quantity, method of treatment and transportation is kept correctly. In addition, the construction project and equipment for the hazardous waste and other waste storage plant are implemented to ensure storage conditions, in accordance with the law.

“Another novelty is that the entire GIKIL complex collects and sorts five types of packaging, wood, scrap paper and cardboard, in cooperation with the local community, namely Lukavac schools and citizens’ associations to which all these are donated. All of this implies that the company is in the midst of major transitions and changes and that we want to show the best of our social responsibility, all with the aim of protecting the environment“, concludes Halilović.