MURMANSK –The notoriously polluting Kola Mining and Metallurgy Combine (KMMC) has said it plans to reduce annual emissions of sulfur dioxide by nearly half within two years, it’s parent company told Bellona.
A source of tension between Norway and Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, the KMMC – a daughter company of the giant Norilsk Nickel based in Northern Siberia – yearly emits some 80,000 tons of the heavy metal, much of which finds its way into northern Norway.
Norilsk Nickel itself announced last week that it would slash emissions in its hometown – the most polluted city in Russia – by as much as 75 percent by 2020. Yury Yushin, who heads the Norilsk Nickel’s department of cooperative programs told Bellona that the company intends to reduce its emissions to 44,000 tons a year by 2019. He didn’t, however, discuss any specifics behind the dramatic reduction.
But the fact that a major polluter in both Northwest Russia and Northern Siberia is announcing such major pollution slashes – while it’s not clear how they will achieve them – has encouraged Bellona.
The bulk of emissions from the KMMC originate from its facilities in the Kola Peninsula industrial cities of Zapolyarny and Nikel. Higher than safe emissions of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere around and adjoining the Kola Peninsula have for 25 years been a sore spot between Norway and Russia.
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