Massive equipment for Sulphur programme arrives in Norilsk

The largest equipment for NornickelPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel” and its subsidiariesGo to the glossary’s flagship environmental programme — massive heat exchangers — has reached the Arctic seaport of Dudinka. Vast in scale and cost, Nornickel’s Sulphur Programme will make sure sulphur dioxide emissions in Norilsk, Russia’s northernmost city, are down 90% after 2025.

Liebherr crane unloads the massive heat exchanger from the ship in Dudinka Seaport

The first six shell-and-tube heat exchangers for the sulphuric acid production section arrived at the Dudinka Port in full factory readiness. They were manufactured by the Komsomolets Machine Building Plant in Tambov on Nornickel’s special request in a tight timeframe. The disassembled heat exchangers, each weighing almost 200 tonnes, were transported to St. Petersburg, where they were assembled and tested at a special site. The 19-metre-long units were delivered to Dudinka by an ice-class vessel. The whole journey took about 30 days.

The unloading and transportation of the heat exchangers was handled by a logistics company Mammut Rus, which has unique experience, a fleet of equipment and personnel. Two Liebherr cranes with a total lifting capacity of over a thousand tonnes were mobilised to unload the equipment at Dudinka port. Weather permitting, not more than two heat exchangers a day are planned to be unloaded. They are loaded onto self-propelled modular platforms that are used to transport massive objects such as industrial machinery, bridge sections, ships, and other objects.

Top view on the Liebherr crane in operation

A transport corridor has been prepared in advance for the transportation of large-tonnage equipment to the Sulphur Programme site. Along the route from Dudinka to Nadezhda Smelter (about 88 km) engineering communications were relocated in advance, plane structures, additional turning and reloading sites were prepared.

“Estimated speed of movement — no more than 30 km per hour, and on some sites (descents and entries on bridges) will not exceed one kilometre per hour. We have road sections with gradients of up to 12 degrees, where we will pre-prepare the sections by clearing snow and ice, using various road equipment, including special blowing machines. It will take no more than three days to transport one heat exchanger to its destination,” says Evgeny Kostin, head of the Procurement and Logistics Department of the sulphur project office.

Heat exchanger weighing 200 tonnes with a Nornickel logo at the Dudinka port

Five more heat exchangers are expected at the Dudinka Seaport in the middle of March, and then four more — later in March.


Nornickel is building the unprecedented Sulphur Programme at the the Nadezhda and Copper smelters in Norilsk.

The programme includes emission capture facilities at the smelters. The total cost of the programme is estimated at over RUB 300 bln. The programme is a part of the Clean Air federal project. The Sulphur Programme technology includes the intermediate production of sulphuric acid with a high degree of sulphur dioxide recovery. This is the proven and the most efficient way of utilising sulphur dioxide in the metal and mining industry. The technology captures 99% or more of the gas from the units on which it is installed.

A total of 15 units are under construction at the same time. More than 2,000 specialists are working around the clock and more than 250 specialised vehicles are in use. At peak times, up to 6,000 people will be working on the construction site.

Since the start of the Sulphur Program, about 71,000 cubic metres of concrete work has been completed at the Nadezhda Smelter. Over 10,000 tonnes of steelwork and 1,368 tonnes of equipment have been erected.