Moscow, July 17, 2020 — Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, announces that it continues to support its employees and regions of operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company has developed a new package of anti-pandemic initiatives totalling approximately RUB 10bn until this year-end. These initiatives will focus on improving virus protection at work, employees’ support, assistance to regional healthcare, and support of small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). The new package brings the financial commitment of Nornickel to fight against the COVID-19 to a total amount of RUB 20bn in 2020.
The pandemic has not had any material impact on the Company’s operations largely owing to the anti-virus campaign launched in March 2020. Nonetheless, the epidemiological situation in some of regions of operations, specifically in Norilsk, is getting tense. The Company has thus decided to step up its safety efforts.
Nornickel has transitioned most of its office employees to work from home, introduced additional prevention measures at production sites and continues to provide full support to its regions of operations and local communities. The Company has purchased more than 160,000 coronavirus tests and over 100,000 express antibody tests, delivered two stationary (for Norilsk and Monchegorsk) and seven mobile labs, almost 400 thermal cameras and a large volume of various personal protection gear (including over 10 mln protection masks). The Group through its subsidiaries has granted subsidies for the freight delivery to Norilsk to local SME customers, utility service subsidies for non-profit organisations, and has provided local entrepreneurs with personal protection gear and food packages.
Nornickel spent approximately RUB 10.5bn since the launch of the programme by the end of June. Protecting lives and health of the Company’s employees and residents against the COVID-19 remains on top of Nornickel’s priorities. The Company is providing full support to make sure that its cities of operation have all necessary medical equipment, medicines, and consumables. Furthermore, additionally Nornickel upon requests from the regional and local authorities provides regional healthcare with whatever they need.
The second package, which has been developed by the Company, aims to prepare for a potential negative-case scenario should COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Nornickel has allocated towards this approximately RUB 10bn for the second half of 2020.
As the first step of the new programme, the Company has allocated emergency aid to the city of Norilsk in response to a request from the city’s mayor. Nornickel, in particular, is arranging a delivery of CT scanner to Norilsk.
The pandemic and its impact on almost all aspects of people lives have driven the Company to review its approach to operations. According to newly introduced health and safety standards, the health of the employees on sites is now monitored daily, facilities undergo regular disinfection and employees are provided with medical protection gear.
Special initiatives have been introduced for rotation workers, with the duration of rotation shifts extended, observation centres arranged or being built, and mandatory virus testing introduced.
Several digital services to support everyday life are being developed, including remote learning, healthcare treatment, retail and services, maintaining new safety standards across production sites, cities, airports, public transportation, and public spaces.
The Company reiterates in full all its previous commitments to is partners, including social, sports, and cultural projects.
Vladimir Potanin, Nornickel’s President, commented: “The 2020 pandemic and its implications will require a considerable increase in the social spending. The Company is committed to allocate additional support to protect its employees and improve the quality of life in the regions of operations, complete top-priority healthcare, educational and urban development projects, and support indigenous people.”
As a first tranche, Nornickel has allocated RUB 10.5bn to a fight against COVID-19 and to support social stability in the regions of operations. The Company funded purchases of medical equipment, medicines, and personal protection gear for the regional healthcare institutions, Nornickel’s operating sites and employees, as well as provided additional social support to its employees and local SMEs. The expansion in-patient hospital capacities has been supported.
Edinstvo LLC, Nornickel’s subsidiary, operating a fibre optic line in the Norilsk Industrial District, has expanded free of charge the bandwidth capacity of digital communication channels available to local mobile operators (Novy Urengoy—Norilsk) by
The Company has arranged delivery of food packages to socially-disadvantaged population groups and local SMEs, and provided additional charity funding to the regions of operations.