Norilsk Nickel: Environment Protection and Infrastructure Upgrade at the Core of the Updated Strategy

Norilsk Nicke

The Russian mining giant on Monday updated its strategy, presenting investment plans that include permafrost monitoring systems, better air quality, operations upgrade.

“We have started to roll-out a permafrost monitoring system in Norilsk and have committed to a major renovation of our energy infrastructure and upgrade of equipment. In addition to a better management of climate change related risks, we anticipate to get significant carbon dioxide emission cuts as the energy losses will reduce and the efficiency of our power generating equipment should improve.

On the social front, we have committed to a number of major programs, which aim to transform the city of Norilsk into a modern city with high quality living standards.

Over business cycles, our metals basket has shown its natural resilience to changes in underlying demand for commodities. Our course forward is towards integration into the new green economy. Higher focus on the global climate agenda drives up demand for our key metals and reconfirms our strategy to grow production. I believe that transformational investments will result in higher value for Nornickel and its shareholders combining industry-leading profitability and top-notch ESG standards,” Nornickel’s President Vladimir Potanin said in the company’s statement published on Monday.

Nornickel is already positioned in the bottom quartile of CO2 emissions intensity curve among global nickel producers and enjoys one of the industry’s lowest GHG emissions in terms of Scope 1,2&3, which owes to already high share of energy generated from renewables as well as the remainder of energy being low carbon natural gas.

A medium-term decarbonization program has been developed to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 1.5 mln tonnes, which will enable Nornickel to remain within 10 million tons of CO2 in terms of Scope 1&2 by 2028, whereas carbon intensity per tonne of nickel equivalent is expected to reduce 16% to 6.7 tonne.

In order to lead the transition to the ‘green economy’, Nornickel has to settle all environmental issues such as sulphur dioxide emissions and legacy pollution.

“Managing climate change has become a separate item on the strategic agenda, with the focus put on the management of physical risks of operating in permafrost conditions, but also on opportunities for our commodity basket offered by the global decarbonization trend,” according to company statement.

Norilsk Nickel is one of the largest industrial enterprises in Russia, which expressed a desire to develop infrastructure in the harch Arctic environment spending its own money.

“The Company is naturally positioned to lead the debottlenecking of the Russian Arctic transportation routes and unlock the enormous geologic potential of Taimyr Peninsula. We are planning to expand our transport infrastructure and improve our competitiveness in attracting and retaining the best talents in Norilsk,” said the miner.

Overall Nornickel had significant progress in reducing the intensity of its environmental impact. The intensity of emissions has dropped by 20.7% from 2019, while greenhouse gas emissions are down 23.3%. Nornickel’s indirect CO2 emissions are also among the lowest in the industry. In addition, energy and water consumption by the company reduced significantly, by 22.4% and 14%, respectively, from 2019. The share of power generated from renewable sources has reached 46%, one of the highest rates in the global metallurgical industry.

Earlier, Norilsk Nickel announced a megaproject for the development of Norilsk may become an example for other cities in the Arctic zone of Russia. The strategy bears the ambitious name “Norilsk – 2035” and contains various paragraphs to improve all points of the infrastructure.

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