Monchegorsk — Members of the Murmansk Regional Duma have held an on-site meeting at Kola MMC that focused on the company’s environmental protection policy and improvement in environmental performance.
The deputies reviewed the company’s environmental efforts and the progress of the Year of the Environment initiatives. Regional MPs paid a visit to the disposal facility for saline effluent from nickel refining operations to assess the steps taken by the company to reduce its environmental footprint.
Disposal of saline effluent from nickel refining operations is Nornickel’s major environmental initiative completed at its Monchegorsk site in 2017. The project uses an innovative technology of complete evaporation of saline effluent (liquid waste resulting from the use of chemicals in electrolytic nickel production) with subsequent drying and packaging. It is a closed circuit process: the resulting steam and condensate are then reused in the nickel tank-house to heat solutions, operate heat exchangers, etc.
“Kola MMC is on a fast development track, investing billions of roubles in upgrades. This is a testament to the company’s extensive environmental protection activities, including those in Monchegorsk,” said Vladimir Mishchenko, First Deputy Speaker of the Murmansk Regional Duma.
According to the deputies, the decreasing volumes of air emissions prove that the company not only focuses on maximising profits but also strives to ensure favourable environmental and sanitary conditions for its employees and the communities across its geography.
“We conduct constant environmental monitoring at Kola MMC’s Monchegorsk site,” said Sergey Shestakov, Director of the Lapland Biosphere Reserve. “Every year, our research shows environmental improvements and continuous restoration.”
The Monchegorsk refining facilities are the largest in the world. “In the course of the last two years, we have increased the capacities by over 30%, which has enabled us to produce up to 150 ktpa of nickel with no additional environmental impact,” commented Vadim Kopylov, Chief Engineer of Kola MMC, during the meeting with the deputies.
Over the last three years alone, Kola MMC has invested around RUB 8 bn in production upgrades and achieved a reduction in emissions. At the time of Kola MMC’s incorporation in 1998, the company’s total sulphur dioxide emissions stood at 277,000 t. In 2016, they dropped more than two-fold to 120,000 t.
Nornickel intends to continue upgrading the Kola MMC facilities, with planned investments until 2021 exceeding RUB 20 bn. The company’s major investment projects include the set-up of an advanced cost-efficient nickel facility through the introduction of a nickel electrowinning technology to the existing tank-house capacities and also construction of a mining water treatment plant at Severny Mine and an ore concentrate shipment facility at the Zapolyarny site.