Moscow — PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel the world’s largest of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, has announced a set of initiatives to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
All Nornickel’s operations are carried out as business as usual. The health and safety of our personnel remains our absolute priority. In order to protect the well-being of our employees and to ensure the continuity of operations amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Nornickel has established an emergency response team (ERT) chaired by the First Vice-President, Corporate Security, Sergey Barbashev and comprised of the Company’s senior management. The ERT’s main task is to ensure the business continuity of the Company’s production, procurement, sales and marketing operations and protection of employees’ health and safety. ERTs have been also set up at Nornickel’s local production sites.
“Our greatest value is the life and health of our employees and providing them comfortable and safe working conditions is our key priority. We are closely monitoring the situation with coronavirus and are ready to fully cooperate with federal and regional authorities so that the measures taken will be most efficient,” said Nornickel’s First Vice-President, Corporate Security, Sergey Barbashev.
Nornickel has already launched the following initiatives, which aim not just at the protection of its employees, but should mitigating the virus impact on the communities in Moscow and other regions of Russia:
- The headquarter employees have been promptly transitioned to distance work. Office employees of the Company’s regional sites are in the process of transitioning to distance work. The Company’s IT department promptly rolls all necessary technical support of stable remote access. All employees working remotely will maintain 100% of their salaries.
- Nornickel cooperates with local authorities in the regions of its operations to implement measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. After having consulted with local healthcare institutions the Company has donated more than RUB 200 million as a charitable aid towards purchasing of necessary medical equipment and supplies. In particular, the purchasing program includes 30 artificial lung ventilation devices.
- Nornickel’s subsidiary that operates the fiber-optic internet line between the cities of Novy Urengoy and Norilsk expanded its capacity available for the Norilsk region by 30% free of charge. This will be available until the expiration of the Decree 54 issued by the Krasnoyarsk governor “On organizing and implementing measures aimed at preventing the introduction and spread of COVID-19 and on the timely detection and isolation of persons with signs of contamination throughout the Krasnoyarsk region”.
- The ongoing shift of Bystrinsky GOK employees has been extended until April 30 for a total duration of 45 days.
- Employees returning (both business and personal trips) from countries where coronavirus infection cases have been reported have been requested to self-quarantine for fourteen days.
- Ban on international business trips introduced and business travel within Russia reduced.
- Nornickel’s customers and partners have been recommended to cancel visits to the Company’s sites and communicate via video or audio.
- All public or group events have been cancelled or rescheduled to a remote communication format where possible.
- Hand sanitizers and thermal scanners to measure employees’ temperature remotely have been installed at all Company’s sites as well as enhanced sanitation measures rolled out in all premises. Express medical examination of employees have been organized.
- A 24/7 hot line for employees has been launched to answer the questions related to pandemic.
- The Nornickel’s emergency center coverage has been extended to collect the information about employees location and special circumstances to provide them prompt assistance if necessary (this applies mostly to the employees being in countries with most challenging COVID-19 epidemiologic situation).
- The World of New Opportunities corporate philanthropy program will be adjusted. Six months repayment holidays have been granted on loans issued to entrepreneurs for the development of their businesses. The schedules of grantees’ projects and events have been adjusted, with some of them to be held in a remote format, while others have been postponed until the end of the epidemic.
- Free corporate service taxi rides have been offered for all employees of the head office whose duties cannot be performed remotely.
- A special section on coronavirus on the corporate internet portal has been launched that publishes regular updates on the new initiatives to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as well as information on hotlines and various instructions.