Nornickel’s CEO Vladimir Potanin announced that a new round of funds is being allocated to a development fund for the city of Norilsk. The 150 billion roubles (US$2 billion) will be used to improve Nornickel’s environmental footprint and ecosystem in Norilsk.
With this significant new financial contribution, Nornickel is once again confirming its strong commitment to improving the areas in which their facilities are located in terms of the environment conditions and the welfare of local residents.
Nornickel Takes a Stand
This new allocation was announced by the Vladimir Potanin following discussions with Dmitry Karasev, Norilsk mayor, on his recent visit to Norilsk. Currently, Nornickel has facilities in the city that mine ores and smelt metals. The discussions with the mayor brought specific additional needs of the city to Potanin’s attention.
“The mayor told me of the city’s needs, which exceed what had been previously mapped out in the original four-party agreement and signed with the federal and regional authorities in February. We have now come to a new, conclusive, and far-reaching solution to implement even more important initiatives by 2024, as part of our promising development program through 2035.” – said Mr. Potanin.
The goal of these efforts is to improve the environment in Norilsk, and specific steps have already been taken in this direction. Renovation of the public infrastructure, and construction of new elements of it, such as schools and housing, have already been started in Norilsk. Mr. Potanin personally visited some of these sites. As part of housing renovation project, unfinished or abandoned blocks of flats will be demolished and replaced with new units.
Longstanding Program to Decrease Pollution in Norilsk
The renovation process will take place over a 10-year period and around 500 abandoned blocks will be torn down during this time. This territory has been a part of the company’s production process for over 80 years, and now is the time to clean it up, the company says. Aside from upgrading the infrastructure in the area, this move will also increase the life expectancy in Norilsk and improve living conditions of residents for years to come.
The total landmass covered by the renovation project is 24 million square meters. Upon project completion, it is expected that the ecology in Norilsk will be significantly improved.
“In terms of its scale, the program that Nornickel has embarked on is unprecedented in the city,” said Norilsk mayor Dmitry Karasev. “There are plans to remove a huge number of landfills and dismantle old abandoned production facilities. The sheer volume of the funds that have been allocated is incomparable with anything from the past.”