The town of Monchegorsk is Nornickel's industrial hub in the Kola Peninsula. Photo: Atle Staalesen

Nornickel eyes doubling of copper production in Kola Peninsula

About 90 billion rubles (€999 million) is to be invested in the modernization of the company's processing industry in Monchegorsk.
October 12, 2020

The mining and metallurgy company is facing serious troubles with its worn-out production facilities in the Kola Peninsula.

Not only is the company about to close its highly polluting plant in Nikel, the town located on the border to Norway and Finland. It is reportedly also in the process of taking radical measures with its copper production in Monchegorsk.

Andrey Chibis is Governor of Murmansk. Photo: Atle Staalesen

According to regional Governor Andrey Chibis, about 90 billion rubles is to be invested in a major modernization of the copper processing. The company’s existing processing facilities in Monchegorsk will be subject to reconstruction, he said in a regional government session this week.

The plans were first described by company representatives in 2019.

According to Chibis, the plans include the building a new plant. It will double the company’s production capacity, he explained.

“The level of investments to be placed over the next years by the company in modernized technology and the building of a new plant will amount to about 90 billion rubles,” Chibis said.

The government meeting followed a meeting between the governor and leading representatives of Nornickel.

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According to Chibis, the mining and metallurgy company will get significant tax benefits in connection with the project. It will also result in a major cut in industrial emissions, he argued.

The governor did not outline any time perspectives for the for Monchegorsk copper project, and it remains to be seen whether and when Nornickel embarks on the upgrade.

 

Photo: Atle Staalesen

 

The company owned by oligarch Vladimir Potanin is in the process of restructuring key parts of its industry. By the end of 2020, the company’s plant in Nikel is to be closed and regional SO2 emissions cut by 50 percent compared with level in 2015.

A year later, in 2021, the company’s emissions in the Kola Peninsula are to be cut by as much as 85 percent, Nornickel underlined its Annual Report for 2019.

The Kola Peninsula is one of Nornickel’s two core production regions. In 2019, the company produced a total of 225 thousand tons of nickel and 499 thousand tons of copper, of which 166,265 tons of nickel and 86,976 tons of copper was produced by regional subsidiary Kola MMC, the annual report reads.

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