Nornickel is preparing a comprehensive, five-year upgrade programme worth RUB 91 bln of the copper refining capacities at its Monchegorsk site. The project is a part of the company’s strategy to revamp and replace obsolete and unsustainable technologies. First VP and COO Sergey Dyachenko and VP and head of Nornickel’s Kola Division Evgeny Borzenko presented the upgrade programme to Andrey Chibis, Governor of the Murmansk Region.
“Shutting down and upgrading outdated production facilities while also building new production shops is vital both for the Company’s efficiency and its sustainable development. The programme places great importance on the environment. By upgrading copper refining facilities in Monchegorsk, we will enhance the positions of Kola Division and Nornickel as a whole in copper production. This will also be a solution to curb air emissions generated by the metallurgical shop. I cannot emphasise enough just how important this project is,” said Evgeny Borzenko, VP and head of Nornickel’s Kola Division.
“This is a major milestone for the economy of our region, and we take our part in supporting the project very seriously. It sends a really good signal to investors,” said Andrey Chibis, Governor of the Murmansk Region.
As a part of the comprehensive upgrade programme, the metallurgical shop of Kola MMC (a subsidiary of Nornickel) will undergo major revamping, which will help minimise the facility’s environmental footprint. The Company’s strategic goal is to reduce SO2 emissions at its both Kola sites by 85% in 2021 compared to 2015, when emissions totalled 155.0 ktpa.
New copper production will start on the Kola Peninsula in 2025. The Company intends to increase copper output from today’s 75 ktpa to 200 ktpa, making the Monchegorsk site one of Nornickel’s largest copper refining facilities. The production upgrade will go hand-in-hand with social programmes comparable in scope to those implemented as part of the shutting down programme of the smelter shop in the town of Nikel.
Nornickel has maintained a consistent focus on upgrading means of production and on shutting down obsolete production facilities to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions. Key projects include the closure of the Nickel Plant, large-scale upgrades at the Talnakh Concentrator, and the Sulphur Project at the Norilsk site. At the Kola site, core objectives include shutting down the roasting section and switching to producing concentrate using a mechanical briquetting technology, transitioning to electrowinning in the nickel production process, building a new shipment facility for concentrate, and closing down the outdated smelter shop in the Nickel settlement at the end of 2020.