Russian Norilsk Nickel has taken another step towards a green future. As the company said in a press release on Monday, a metallurgical workshop in the Russian Arctic, in the city of Monchegorsk, was closed. It was previously a major source of sulphur dioxide emissions at Kola MMC's Monchegorsk site.

Closing the metallurgical shop will reduce sulphur dioxide emissions in Monchegorsk to less than 30 ktpa in 2021, and with the shutdown of the smelting shop in the town of Nikel, the emissions in Kola Peninsula in 2021 will be 85% lower compared to 2015.

"The results of the company's efforts to reduce the environmental impact are evident: next year, we expect Kola MMC's emissions to be 22,000 tonnes per year, of which 8,000-9,000 depending on the season are emissions from the power plant, which also heats homes in Monchegorsk," said Evgeny Borzenko, General Director of Kola MMC. - We plan to upgrade the power plant in order to reduce emissions from this energy source as well. In the future we will act to reduce the negative environmental impacts: air emissions, discharges into the water bodies, land reclamation, waste management".

Immediately after the shop's closure, Nornickel will start cleaning up the production facilities and the metallurgical units from the copper-containing materials. This work will last throughout 2021, and the dismantling of production facilities and buildings will start in 2022.

Environmental activists in Europe's border countries Finland and Norway are finding positive effects from the environmental modernization of Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel.
The Bellona environmental group, with 57 employees based in its head office in Oslo and three international offices in Brussels (Belgium-EU), Murmansk (Russia) and St. Petersburg (Russia), expressed confidence that the modernization of industrial production in northern Russia Russia will benefit from clean air and water also in Norway and Finland.

“If a company invests in manufacturing to replace outdated green technologies with more modern and environmentally friendly ones, then that's always good. To assess how the ecological situation will improve, it is necessary to study the project to understand the details. How much with the help of new technologies will be eliminated those shortcomings that negatively affected nature. Including the nature of neighboring countries: Norway and Finland. We think this is the task of interested public organizations that care about the environment and human health,” the ecologists noted.

Earlier Bellona had expressed concern about the possible negative impact on the environment of the production sites of Norilsk Nickel located in the north of Russia.
In recent years Nornickel has been more firmly announcing its environmental concerns.  The main focus of the company’s environmental policy entails gradual reduction of air pollutant emissions and wastewater discharges.

Earlier in 2019, the Norwegian side highly appreciated the results achieved by Norilsk Nickel in protecting the environment and ecology from pollution and expressed the hope that the company will continue such effective activities, news agencies reported.

The Norwegians also positively commented on the activities of the Russian Government on the implementation of standards and the creation of environmental legislation, which sooner or later should ensure a significant improvement in the environmental situation.

“The Norilsk Nickel management is committed to environmental protection and is making every effort to implement this strategy”, the company has stated.