Nornickel promises halt in death clouds – by Atle Staalesen (The Barents Observer – February 7, 2019)

Poisonous air on 25th January rolled over the border and into the Norwegian settlement of Svanvik where local authorities quickly recommended people to stay indoor. It was another day with heavy emissions from the melters in Nikel, the nearby company town of mining and metallurgy giant Norilsk Nickel.

The company that same evening decided to temporary reduce production in a bid to curb emissions.

«After we got the information about the unfavourable weather conditions we introduced limitations in the technological regime of the melter in Nikel, even down to a halt in the feeding of raw materials to the furnaces,» says Yevgeny Bozenko, general director of Kola MMC, the regional subsidiary of Nornickel.

Additional measures now are being taken on quick response to similar situations, the company informs. For the people living near Nornickel’s processing plants, poisonous air has for decades harmed local environment and quality of life. But that will soon change, Nornickel says.

In a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in late December 2018, Nornickel leader Vladimir Potanin promised clean air in the company towns. «By year 2023, these problems will be resolved in the sense that 75 percent of all current sulphur emissions will seize to exist,» Potanin underlined.

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