Updates to follow
29 September 2021
According to an estimate by Nornickel’s partner — Expert-Analytical Center on Environmental Problems Ecoterra, the area of land contaminated as a result of the accidental diesel fuel spill last year is 300,853.2 m2, the area of disturbed land is 510,000 m2.
Following the project of reclamation and restoration of the spill area in summer 2021 biologists sowed the soils with seeds of grasses that traditionally grow in Taimyr — meadow clover, meadow timothy and fescue — and introduced peat to create a fertile layer.
In September, Ecoterra specialists completed the autumn survey of the reclamation area to assess the efficiency of the measures taken and the dynamics of land rehabilitation. They took soil samples on the recultivated lands and are examining them in laboratories.
The 2021 set of field reclamation activities will continue until the beginning of the snow season and will resume in spring 2022.
Repeated surveys will continue in the spring and fall of 2022.
In 2021, soil disking, fertilizer application, and seed seeding will be done in the land areas:
- by the fuel tanks of the CHPP-3 with a total area of 37,212.9 m2;
- by the Bezymyanny brook with a total area of 16,950 m2;
- by the Ambarnaya river with a total area of 421,059 m2.
Under the contract with SPASF Priroda LLC, a complex of works is carried out to restore the polluted lands along rivers Ambarnaya, Daldykan, Bezymyanny brook and the territory adjacent to the fuel reservoirs park of CHPP-3.
In the area near the power plant’s tank farm, work is carried out to contain the spread of mobile concentrations of oil products by collecting them in artificial watercourses with the help of sorbent booms and sorbent, as well as equipped water traps and overflow siphons.
Since the beginning of the flood season of 2021, 17 lines of booms with a total length of 1750 meters have been installed on the territory of the Ambarnaya River for preventive purposes in order to avoid possible ingress of residual oil products from the shore zone into the water. 17 specialists of “Priroda” are monitoring their condition.
Rehabilitation of contaminated and disturbed lands during the 2021 field season required:
- 261 specialists;
- 65 vehicles, including 5 units of light all-terrain vehicles (Argo all-terrain amphibious vehicles, Polaris quad bikes), and air transport (MI-8’s, Eurocopters).
Nornickel’s subsidiary NTEK brought in Ecoterra specialists to supervise the remediation work. Four field teams, totaling 12 specialists, supervise the work.
Recycling of contaminated soil
The contaminated soil has been removed from the territory adjacent to the fuel tank park of CHPP-3 and taken to specially equipped sites.
In December 2020, a contract was signed with LLC Gidrotechnologii Sibiri (GS) for a list of services for collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of soil contaminated with oil products using the Microbiological Remediation method (bioremediation).
In order to dispose of the oil-contaminated soil GS set up a technological site. The site has been approved by the Center of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Krasnoyarsk Krai. 15 units of equipment and specialists consisting of 10 people are involved at the site.
The biopreparation production facility is equipped, and fermenters of different volumes are installed.
Oil-contaminated soil was moved from temporary waste storage sites. 127,109.31 tons were moved to the recycling site. 95,839 tons of soil were sorted and distributed at the recycling site.
Transportation of oil products
The water-fuel mixture collected from the Ambarnaya and Daldykan rivers was pumped and separated, and the resulting petroleum product was placed in a temporary storage site with 68 storage tanks located near the Lebyazhye tailings pond. The volume of each tank is 250 cubic meters.
At the end of June 2021, transportation of oil products was completed. The stripped fuel was transported to the fuel reservoirs of CHPP-3, and the temporary storage site was dismantled.
In April 2021, Nornickel’s Control and Analytical Department was awarded a contract to carry out monitoring of soil and water bodies within the area contaminated by the accidental diesel fuel spill, and in June 2021 a contract was signed with the Center for Laboratory Analysis and Technical Measurements of the Siberian Federal District to provide similar services.
Sampling of surface water and bottom sediments is performed at 10 locations: Bezymyanny brook, Daldykan, Ambarnaya and Pyasina rivers.
No excessive oil pollution has been found.
Specialists report that there are fish in the rivers and lakes, and there are many swans, ducks, muskrats and other animals in the surveyed area.
A commission comprising representatives of the Norilsk City Administration, Krasnoyarsk Environmental Prosecutor’s Office and JSC NTEC inspects the areas of reclamation works and water bodies on a weekly basis.
Specialists have not detected any contaminated areas or mobile concentrations of oil products.
NTEK started submitting the land plots, where the reclamation work was completed, to the owner of the plots — the Municipality of Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, with a total area of 475,222.6 m2.
The Institute of Environmental Studies and Geography of the Siberian Federal University developed the Project of rehabilitation works for wildlife and other components of the environment damaged as a result of the accidental oil spill.
The Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, supported by Nornickel, embarked on the Great Norilsk Expedition-2. The expedition focuses on the following:
- Assessment of repeated pollution risks associated with snowmelt and spring flood in 2021;
- Ichthyofauna research;
- Biodiversity research;
- Permafrost studies.
Non-profit organization “Polar Research Foundation” carries out research work titled “Comprehensive survey of the state and level of pollution of natural environment components in the floodplain of the main watercourses of the Norilo-Pyasinskaya water system basin, shores and water area of Pyasino Island. Pyasino, including areas affected by the accident at CHPP-3 in May 2020”.
28 October 2020
Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade aids Nornickel’s clean-up effort at Norilsk-based HPP-3.
Since the fuel spill at its HPP-3 in Norilsk, the Company has completed three main stages of the clean-up programme to tackle the accident, with the spill now fully localised and most of the fuel and water mixture collected. By now, more than 25,000 cu m of mixture have been pumped through newly installed pipelines from temporary tanks to a storage facility for subsequent separation.
Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade has been supporting the Company’s clean-up operation since the first days of the accident. Among other things, it provided Nornickel with a list of Russian producers of specialised materials and equipment that were crucial in the early stages of the response to collect and remove fuel from the contaminated area.
Neftetank and Politechnika supplied 245 bladder tanks, 41 km long flexible piping, 20 motor pumps, 95 km of booms, and 129 tonnes of sorbents to treat contaminated surface.
To help the Company obtain access to relevant expertise and select the right equipment, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, together with Russia’s other competent authorities, continues to provide prompt visa support to international experts engaged by Nornickel to join its clean-up operation in Norilsk.
28 September 2020
A total of 34,451 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected in the area around HPP-3 and the Ambarnaya River.4,768 cu m of mixture has been separated at the HPP-3 site.
At the Ambarnaya River, a total of 422,816 sq m of land has been cleaned, with 99,370 kg of sorbents used and 350,220 kg collected.
12 sets of containment booms and 28 sets of sorbent booms have been installed.
23 September 2020
A total of 34,421 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected in the area around HPP-3 and the Ambarnaya River. 2,612 cu m of mixture has been separated at the HPP-3 site.
At the Ambarnaya River, a total of 422,816 sq m of land has been cleaned, with 99,370 kg of sorbents used and 349,020 kg collected.
12 sets of containment booms and 28 sets of sorbent booms have been installed.
8 September 2020
Neftetank completes pumping of water and fuel mixture collected from the Ambarnaya River after the HPP-3 spill to the Lebyazhye tailings dam
As at 8 September 2020, Neftetank has pumped nearly 15,000 cubic metres of the mixture. Along with the pumping operations, the company is finalising works to build the main field storage unit from which the mixture will be transferred to the Lebyazhye tailings dam.
It has installed and put into operation 84 tanks to store the collected water and fuel mixture. In the near future, 23 more tanks will be added as they become available and can be delivered from the tundra, where they have been used for temporary holding of the water and fuel mixture pumped from the Ambarnaya River.
To carry out all works, Neftetank has sent its own construction machinery to Norilsk. To install a reinforced flexible pipeline for pumping the water and fuel mixture from the Ambarnaya River to the Lebyazhye tailings dam, the company delivered 18 km of flexible pipes and relevant accessories, and four high-capacity pump units to the emergency area. All equipment will remain on site until the works are completed.
The clean-up operations involved 163 tanks (built by the company) with a total capacity of around 30,000 cubic metres. Apart from laying the pipeline and pumping the fuel, Neftetank will install fuel storage systems on other NTEC sites, specifically the Kureyskaya and Ust-Khantaiskaya HPPs and Norilsktransgaz.
31 August 2020
23,214 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been pumped from the Ambarnaya River. Out of 107 total, there remain 13 filled tanks — four of 50 cu m and nine of 250 cu m each. 12,435 cu m has been separated.
“We have pumped the larger part of the water and fuel mixture to the Lebyazhye tailing dam, with almost half of that having been separated. All activities are progressing on schedule, to the deadlines set by the Company and in accordance with the contractual obligations of the service providers,” said Igor Korobkin, Head of NTEC’s Emergency Response Directorate.
39.8 km of temporary pipelines have been installed to pump out the fuel and water mixture, including 18 km by Neftetank and 21.8 km by Politechnika.
Works continue to clean up the bank line. 19,351 sq m of the bank line has been washed, with 500 kg of sorbents used and 13,100 kg collected between 27 and 31 August. 89 sorbent and 12 containment booms have been laid.
24 August 2020
153 sorbent and 52 containment booms have been laid on the Ambarnaya River, with 700 kg of sorbents used and 4,300 kg collected between 21 and 24 August. 16,651 sq m of the bank line has been washed.
37.1 km of a temporary pipeline has been installed to pump out the fuel and water mixture, including 16.3 km by Neftetank and 20.8 km by Politechnika.
17,214 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been pumped and 6,117 cu m separated, with 36 filled containers out of 107 remaining at the Ambarnaya River.
Around 25,000 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected from the Ambarnaya River.
20 August 2020
155 sorbent and 52 containment booms have been laid at the Ambarnaya River. 15,631 sq m of its bank line has been washed. Over the last few days
34.4 km of temporary pipelines have been installed to pump out the fuel and water mixture, including 15.4 km by Neftetank and 18 km by Politechnika. 13,626 cu m of fuel and water mixture has been pumped and 4,186 cu m separated.
57 filled containers out of 107 remain at the Ambarnaya River. 48 storage tanks have been put in place at the Lebyazhye tailing dam, where the fuel and water mixture is sent.
The pumping is expected to complete within the first ten days of September. Rescuers will continue cleaning up the bank line and collecting petroleum products from water surface until the start of the freezing season.
17 August 2020
16,300 kg of sorbents have been collected from the Ambarnaya River, with 155 sorbent and 52 containment booms laid and 14,111 sq m of the bank line washed.
Currently, 162 people and 24 units of equipment are active at the response team’s camp.
“We still receive help from the Marine Rescue Service and SPAS Priroda LLC, although Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company has the largest presence. All clean-up operations on the Ambarnaya River are carried out smoothly and without delay,” said Denis Anikeev, Deputy Head of NTEC’s Emergency Response Directorate.
32 km of pipelines have been installed to pump the fuel and water mixture from the Ambarnaya River, including 14.4 km by Neftetank and 17.6 km by Politechnika. 10,215 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been pumped. The pumping is expected to complete within the first ten days of September.
3,422 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been separated.
13 August 2020
6,000 kg of sorbents have been collected from the Ambarnaya River, with 156 sorbent and 52 containment booms laid and 12,465 sq m of the bank line washed.
30.9 km of pumping pipelines have been installed, including 13.9 km by Neftetank and 17 km by Politechnika. 6,066 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been pumped.
According to Roman Kurgin, Technical Director at Neftetank, additional facilities are now available to increase the volume of water and fuel mixture pumped. “Of course, time is short. But we ought to make sure that everything is reliable and safe, too. The pipeline we’re laying is high-pressure and can be used to pump fractions such as oil that are even heavier. Our employees ride cross-country vehicles daily to examine it for integrity issues,” said Kurgin.
Around 25,000 cu m of water and fuel mixture needs to be pumped.
The mixture is being pumped into a temporary tank farm near the Lebyazhye tailing dam with some 30 tanks in place.
A separation site has been established there. In addition to a separator boasting an extra high throughput capacity, it features eight pumps and three filtration units. 2,447 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been separated.
10 August 2020
Damaged emergency storage tank No. 5 has been demolished
The emergency tank has been dismantled into large fragments, which are now cut into smaller pieces on the ground and then sent for disposal. To date, over 200 t of metal structures have been removed from the HPP-3 site, with some 450 t to be recycled in total.
Round-the-clock dismantling is performed by specialists of Norilsknickelremont Maintenance and Construction.
According to NTEC’s Head of Projects Dmitry Boychenko, work is progressing on schedule. The disassembly will be completed by 30 September.
5 August 2020
Work continues to pump the collected water and fuel mixture from bladder tanks at the Ambarnaya River into a temporary tank farm near the Lebyazhye tailing dam.
As of 5 August, the total volume of water and fuel mixture in 104 tanks stands at 25,586 cu m. The mixture is being pumped into a temporary tank farm near the Lebyazhye tailing dam by Neftetank and Polytechnika using 18.5 km long flexible piping. Some 1,123 cu m of the mixture has already been pumped into the tanks at an average speed of about 30 cu m / h. To increase throughput, Polytechnika and Neftetank have had special pumps delivered to Norilsk. They will be installed in the near future after pilot testing. Specialists have already arrived in Norilsk to service the equipment.
52 sets of containment booms and 91 sets of sorbent booms have been installed.
29 July 2020
Moscow, July 29, 2020 — The Board of Nornickel met yesterday to discuss various matters relating to the oil spill and other environmental issues.
The Board commended management on the substantial progress that has been made in cleaning up the spill. It was updated on the work being done in the Environmental Task Team and the utilisation of ERM to undertake an independent assessment of the spill and related matters.
The Board also discussed the recent management changes to improve the focus on and culture towards environmental affairs. Further measures to strengthen the team are planned shortly. The Board commended the introduction of environmental KPI’s for Nornickel staff and the leadership of the new risk committee by the company’s President, Vladimir Potanin.
On the question of Nornickel head office, it was noted that the management board is and would continue to spend substantial amounts of time in Norilsk, and Norilsk would be considered the “centre of gravity” until its environmental affairs could be regarded as world class.
Mr Maksim Poletaev, Senior Rusal representative on the Nornickel Board, noted that the issues he and Rusal had raised are being taken seriously by management and that positive progress is being made.
Chairman of the Board, Gareth Penny, commented: “We have seen significant progress on our journey to transform environmental practises at Nornickel. We will continue to devote all efforts to address these challenges in a transparent and effective way”.
29 July 2020
Neftetank started pumping the water and fuel mixture from the Ambarnaya River following the fuel spill at HPP-3. A 12 km pipeline was built for this purpose, with another 6 km to be added in the near future, to finalise the first phase of the clean-up efforts at the accident site.
The pipeline’s throughput rate will be 30 to 40 cu m per hour. The work will be organised round the clock, on a three-shift basis. According to expert estimates, it will take 42 days to transfer the collected mixture. The pumped water and fuel mixture will be sent to a dedicated site at the Lebyazhye tailings storage facility, where Neftetank will promptly arrange fuel storage area with 120 tanks with a total capacity of about 30,000 cu m.
During the first phase of the clean-up efforts, Neftetank manufactured and delivered a total of 173 Model MR-NT-250-N tanks, pipes and other components for an 18 km pipeline from the Ambarnaya River to the Lebyazhye tailings storage site.
Preparations for the delivery of oil tanks from Neftetank’s warehouse in the Moscow Region started immediately after receiving the first request from Norilsk Nickel in early June. The first 93 oil tanks were delivered to the accident site within the shortest time possible. All the tanks are fitted with waterproofing membranes.
Additionally, Neftetank is conducting engineering surveys at other Norilsk Nickel facilities, including the Kureyskaya and Ust-Khantaiskaya hydroelectric generating stations and the Lebyazhye tailings storage facility. Based on the survey findings, tank farms of these facilities will be retrofitted with equipment manufactured by Neftetank. Installation of the equipment will be performed and supervised also by Neftetank. Engineering surveys at other facilities, including the temporary storage site in the town of Tukhard (operated by Norilsktransgaz), HPP-1, HPP-2 and HPP-3, are also on the plan.
As at July 29, over 30 employees of Neftetank were taking part in the clean-up efforts, supported by 20 units of pumping and other equipment, loading and unloading machines, including five crawlers owned by the Company.
21 July 2020
Politechnika, a Russian developer and manufacturer of elastic tanks, has been engaged by Norilsk Nickel to pump out the water and diesel fuel mixture via a field trunk hose-type pipeline to the treatment and disposal site located 20 km away from the collection point.
The company also acts as the supplier of elastic tanks and the portable pipeline for the clean-up operations. The water and fuel mixture collected over the last 14 days of the clean-up effort was stored in elastic tanks of the PER-250-N series.
As at 21 July, the collection of the water and fuel mixture into elastic tanks has been completed, with Politechnika now pumping it out to the treatment and disposal site via a 12.2 km hose-type pipeline reaching Lake Lebyazhye.
As at 21 July, 33,790 cu m of the water and fuel mixture has been collected, including 25,748 cu m pumped out of the affected rivers.
185.2 km of the bank line and 361,720 sq m of the contaminated surface have been treated with sorbents.
334 people and 140 units of equipment have been engaged in the clean-up operations.
Elastic tanks of the PER-N series produced by Politechnika and used in the clean-up operations in Norilsk are made of heavy-duty polyester fabric of ballistic weaving with double-sided polyurethane (TPU) or special polyvinyl chloride (PVC+TPU) coating based on a proven and patented technology. The coating strength is close to breaking loads of cargo lifting slings and straps. Heating is not required when installing tanks. The warranty period is one year when used in low and high temperatures ranging from −60°C to +80°C. Elastic reservoirs are designed for multiple use cycles.
Field trunk hose-type pipelines manufactured by Politechnika are designed for rapid delivery of crude oil, oil products, fuels, water and process solutions at a distance of up to 200 km or more across rough terrain. They feature a heavy-duty reinforcing fabric base with double-sided polyurethane coating and quick-assembly connections of the camlock type. The diameter of these hose-type pipelines is from 50 to 200 mm, and their operating pressure is from 1.6 to 2.6 MPa. Hose-type pipelines by Politechnika are not subject to corrosion and are resistant to oil products, chemicals, water and UV radiation.
8 July 2020
Nornickel brings equipment to Norilsk to pump out water and fuel mixture
Nornickel is preparing to pump out the mixture collected from the surface of the Ambarnaya River. The Company has engaged professionals from Neftetank and Politechnika to leverage their experience and technologies.
Neftetank has already delivered to Norilsk a 8 km pipeline to pump the water and fuel mixture, with another 12 km of pipeline to be brought to the city shortly. A team of 40 people will come to Norilsk to service the pumping operations.
The installation is scheduled for the coming weekend. Within the next two weeks or so, the pipeline will be laid from the Lebyazhye tailings storage facility, where the fuel separation site has been set up, to the Ambarnaya River.
“To install the pipeline, we will use two tractor units to pull an unwinding device and a small crane to replace the reels,” said Ivan Rumyantsev, Head of Service Department at Neftetank.
He noted that the challenging tundra environment, rough terrain, and abundance of rivers and streams will not impede Neftetank’s operations. “After that, we will move on to the pumping itself. Containers will be dismantled and installed in parallel. That is, the containers now filled at the Ambarnaya River will be dismantled and transported to Norilsk by helicopter using a cargo hook as they are emptied. Then, we will connect them to the fuel pipeline as necessary and fill them to separate the mixture further,” added Mr Rumyantsev.
Experts say the pumping will take about a month. By now, rescuers have collected 25,702 cu m of water and fuel mixture from the Ambarnaya River.
6 July 2020
As at 6 July, 33,237 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected (including 50 cu m in the past 24 hours).
185,102 t of contaminated soil has been removed and hauled to disposal sites at HPP-3 (including 3,100 t in the past 24 hours).
137.2 km of the bank line and 265,720 sq m of contaminated surface have been treated with sorbents.
The airmobile team of EMERCOM’s Siberian emergency response centre has completed the clean-up operation on site. 100 servicemen from EMERCOM’s Siberian emergency response centre (Kumysny settlement in the Novosibirsk Region) returned to their permanent base after having discharged their duty in Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Territory. The rescuers assisted the region and town authorities in eliminating the consequences of the diesel fuel spill. Transneft’s special brigade also left the emergency area.
50 workers of Gazprom Neft have completed their operations in Norilsk as well. 22 rescuers from the company remained in the area to finalise the clean-up of the river tributaries and surfaces of small water bodies, treat the bank line with sorbents, and perform on-site monitoring. Gazprom Neft also sent its environmental specialists to the clean-up area. The experts are engaged in developing a road map to restore the flora and fauna in the affected area.
348 people and 3 units of equipment are working on the site to clean up the spill. Air support is delivered by 3 aircraft.
30 June 2020
Nornickel unveils its rehabilitation plan to deal with the incident at HPP-3
By now, rescuers have collected more than 25,563 cu m of water and fuel mixture from the Ambarnaya River. 7,468 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been pumped from the area around HPP-3, with over 157 kt of contaminated soil removed. 118.7 km of the bank line and 228,720 sq m of contaminated surface have been treated with sorbents. These are the results announced today by Sergey Dyachenko, Nornickel’s First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, after he took part in a meeting of the Krasnoyarsk Territory’s Security Council. The meeting focused on response to the fuel spill at HPP-3 in Norilsk.
“We are working as part of an interregional commission set up by the government and staying in close touch with Rosprirodnadzor to develop and implement relevant site rehabilitation plans,” said Mr Dyachenko.
According to him, on 1 July Nornickel will start pumping the water and fuel mixture collected from the Ambarnaya River’s bank line to an industrial site near Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant. The mixture will then be subjected to separation, with works scheduled to be completed by 5 September.
The top manager noted that rehabilitation will be the next step the Company is preparing to take. The rehabilitation exercise will focus on the area around HPP-3, the Ambarnaya River’s bank line, and the treatment of soil removed from the HPP, and will be performed by companies possessing certified modern technologies.
Nornickel has developed a programme of quick-impact initiatives for
The next step will be the restoration of biodiversity. The Company will be ready to provide financing for the construction of a fish breeding farm once the initiative is approved by the Ministry of Agriculture. The project will be implemented in close collaboration with the local indigenous communities.
Last week, an ethnological expert review was launched on the Taimyr Peninsula to assess the damage caused by the fuel spill at HPP-3 to the indigenous minorities of the North. The invited experts include representatives of the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs and academicians from Moscow State University, Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Yakutian Academy of Sciences and Miklukho-Maklai Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology. The commission is expected to assess the impact of the fuel spill on the lifestyle and traditional industries of the indigenous northern minorities by studying current and future influences of the incident on hunting and fishing, reindeer herding and preservation of cultural traditions.
The experts will assess the environmental fallout from the fuel spillage and provide recommendations on the compensation package. The final document is expected to be ready by August. The scientists will also draft an ethnological map of all economic entities within the local indigenous communities.
29 June 2020
As of 29 June, 33,031 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected (including 55 cu m in the past 24 hours). Of this amount, 25,563 cu m has been collected from bodies of water (including 5 cu m in the past 24 hours).
A total of 157,929 t of contaminated soil has been removed and hauled to disposal sites at HPP-3 (including 4,620 t in the past 24 hours).
118.7 km of bank line and 228,720 sq m of contaminated area have been treated with sorbents. A total of 324.4 t of soil treated with sorbents has been removed (including 34.4 t in the past 24 hours).
435 people and 207 units of equipment are working on the site to clean up the spill.
26 June 2020
As at 26 June, 32,967 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected (including 16 cu m in the past 24 hours). Of this amount, 25,549 cu m has been collected from bodies of water (including 16 cu m in the past 24 hours).
A total of 143,829 t of contaminated soil has been removed and hauled to disposal sites at HPP-3 (including 5,033 t in the past 24 hours).
103.1 km of bank line and 197,400 sq m of contaminated area have been treated with sorbents. A total of 195 t of soil treated with sorbents has been removed (including 50 t in the past 24 hours).
473 people and 235 units of equipment are working on the site to clean up the spill.
23 June 2020
As at 23 June, 32,896 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected (including 66 cu m in the past 24 hours). Of this amount, 25,368 cu m has been collected from the Ambarnaya River (including 30 cu m in the past 24 hours).
A total of 133,630 t of contaminated soil has been removed and hauled to disposal sites at HPP-3 (including 5,000 t in the past 24 hours).
95.8 km of bank line and 85,000 sq m of contaminated area have been treated with sorbents (including 9.8 km and 7,600 sq m, respectively, in the past 24 hours).
495 people and 248 units of equipment are working on the site to clean up the spill.
19 June 2020
NORILSK NICKEL has completed the second phase of the CLEAN-UP of Diesel Fuel Spill in Norilsk
PJSC “MMC “Norilsk Nickel” (hereinafter — “Nornickel” or “the Company”), the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade metal nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, announces that the second phase of the clean-up of the diesel fuel spill following an accident at the emergency fuel storage of Heat and Power Plant #3 (HPP-3) in Norilsk industrial district on May 29, 2020, is near completion. Most of the spilt fuel has been collected. This was reported at a meeting hosted today by the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. Nornickel is continuing the clean-up and intends to fully remediate the environmental impact.
In his opening remarks of the meeting, President Vladimir Putin has said, “A truly remarkable work has been done. I know that the situation has been successfully reversed”.
The Minister of Emergency Control (EMERCOM), Evgeny Zinichev has noted, that the second phase of cleaning-up the accident is almost complete, with a total of 32k cubic meters of water-fuel mixture has been collected and 103kt of contaminated soil has been removed. The mixture has been placed into 103 watertight tanks, whereas all of the contaminated soil has been placed into sealed-off hangars to prevent further risk to the environment. The Minister has added, “At the third phase, the collected fuel will be transported. Simultaneously with the third phase, the fourth phase is being designed, which will include rehabilitation of disturbed land and restoration of fish population”.
According to the President of Nornickel, Vladimir Potanin, the Company is actively engaged into clean-up of the accident. Vladimir Potanin has said, “We are entering a new phase, possibly, more labor-intensive and time-consuming of the utilization of the soil and water-fuel mixture. At present, we are working on transporting the fuel to a location, where it will be separated, and hoping to complete this over the next two and half or three months”.
The water-fuel mixture which has been collected will be utilized without harming the environment, with the exact technology is presently being determined. The Company is planning to leverage on the experience and expertise of its partners from the oil industry.
The President of Nornickel has emphasized that the Company will fully cover the environment rehabilitation costs related to the accident and added that the Company has already spent RUB5 bn.
Nornickel has launched preparation of the land rehabilitation project for the area contaminated by the fuel spill at HPP-3. The Company will fully cover the cost of river shores rehabilitation as well as the soil, and will study the feed available for the aqua life in the rivers Ambarnaya and Daldykan, and will carry out initiatives aiming at its restoration.
In addition, Nornickel jointly with the government’s agencies has launched an ad-hoc audit of the technical conditions of all industrial buildings and facilities. According to Vladimir Potanin, the Company is planning additional investments into improvement of industrial safety of RUB2.5bn in 2020 and RUB11.0bn in 2021.
17 June 2020
As at 17 June, 31,318 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected (including 643 cu m in the past 24 hours). Of this amount, 25,000 cu m has been collected from the Ambarnaya River (including 246 cu m in the past 24 hours).
A total of 92 kt of contaminated soil has been removed and hauled to disposal sites at HPP-3 (including 8.4 kt in the past 24 hours).
63,800 sq m of contaminated area has been treated with sorbents (including 700 sq m in the past 24 hours).
688 people and 301 units of equipment are working on the site to clean up the spill.
16 June 2020
Nornickel’s First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Sergey Dyachenko announced that the first stage of the clean-up operations has been completed, with the bulk of the spill collected thanks to the joint efforts of Nornickel, the EMERCOM, and specialised organisations, including the Northern Branch of the Marine Rescue Service, Gazprom Neft, and Transneft Siberia .
“We have collected more than 90% of the spilt fuel and 70% of contaminated soil, thus winding up the first stage of the long-term plan to eliminate the consequences of the HPP-3 incident. The next steps include disposing of the contaminated soil and water and fuel mixture we removed, as well as cleaning up the bank line.
Nornickel is grateful to the EMERCOM, the Marine Rescue Service, Gazprom Neft, and Transneft for helping with the clean-up operations, as well as to all Russian and foreign companies that offered assistance.
One of the first helping hands came from the Franco-Swiss LafargeHolcim, whose experts are already at the site doing valuable work. In several days, specialists from Norway will arrive in Norilsk with a special technology for managing this kind of spills,” said Sergey Dyachenko.
Today, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dmitry Kobylkin and Head of Rosprirodnadzor Svetlana Radionova are on a working visit in Norilsk.
Over 700 people with more than 300 units of equipment are working round the clock to clean up the spill.
As at 16 June, 5,700 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected in the area around HPP-3, including 743 cu m pumped out in the past 24 hours.
24,800 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected from the surface of the Ambarnaya River, including 1,216 cu m pumped out in the past 24 hours.
A total of 30,500 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected in the area around HPP-3 and the Ambarnaya River, including almost 2,000 cu m removed in the past 24 hours.
The fuel spill area along the Daldykan River continues to be treated with neutralising agents, with 63,100 sq m of surface cleaned overall, including 1,500 sq m treated in the past 24 hours.
84 kt of contaminated soil was excavated, including 8.6 kt in the past 24 hours.
15 June 2020
As at 15 June, 28,572 cu m of water-and-fuel mixture has been collected in the area around HPP-3 and the Ambarnaya River, including 2,891 cu m pumped out in the past 24 hours.
The total volume of collected water-and-fuel mixture (including fuel treated with sorbents) stands at28,710 cu m, with 2,911 cu m pumped out over the past 24 hours.
The fuel spill area along the Daldykan River continues to be treated with neutralising agents, with a total area of 61,600 sq m covered, including 2,500 sq m over the past 24 hours.
14 June 2020
3,879 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected over the past 24 hours, which brought the total volume of mixture pumped out since the start of the clean-up to 25,798 cu m.
9,933 t of contaminated soil has been removed and hauled to an on-site waste dump at HPP-3 (or a total of 65,647 t since the start of the clean-up).
Over the past 24 hours, 3,400 sq m of contaminated soil has been treated with sorbents (or a total of 59,100 sq m).
743 people and 301 units of equipment have been engaged in the clean-up operations.
Last night, two helicopters delivered additional tanks for the water and fuel mixture to the mixture collection points.
13 June 2020
4,119 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected over the past 24 hours, which brought the total volume of mixture pumped out since the start of the clean-up to 21,919 cu m.
9,578 t of contaminated soil has been removed and hauled to an on-site waste dump at HPP-3 (or a total of 55,714 t since the start of the clean-up).
Over the past 24 hours, 3,400 sq m of contaminated soil has been treated with sorbents (or a total of 55,700 sq m).
734 people and 285 units of equipment have been engaged in the clean-up operations.
9 June 2020
As at 9 June, 1,496.1 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected in the area around CHPP-3, including 391 cu m pumped out in the past 24 hours. A total of 23,000 cu m of contaminated soil has been removed and hauled to an on-site waste dump at CHPP-3.
To date, 5,195.1 cu m of water and fuel mixture has been collected from the Ambarnaya River surface, with 2,470 cu m pumped out in the past 24 hours.
The fuel spill area along the Daldykan River is being treated with neutralising agents, with 32,600 sq m of surface cleaned overall, including 6,000 sq m treated in the part 24 hours.
During the past 24 hours, the clean-up involved 673 people and 264 units of equipment provided by NTEC, Polar Division and specialised organisations, including the Northern Branch of the Marine Rescue Service, as well as by Gazprom Neft and Transneft Siberia.
The teams work around the clock in two shifts.
7 June 2020
As of June 7, the number of people engaged in decontamination efforts exceeds 500 and the number of units of equipment they are using exceeds 200; 300 of these responders are Nornickel employees working specifically in the vicinity of Norilsk’s Combined Heat and Power plant and relying on 170 units of equipment provided by the Nornickel. About 50,000 tonnes of contaminated soil and 949 cubic metres of diesel have been removed from the vicinity of the cogeneration plant. At the moment, 913 cubic metres of diesel have been collected from the surface of the Ambarka River, which has 18 booms installed in it. Nornickel employees have installed an additional two booms at the confluence of the Bezymyanny stream and the Daldykan River to prevent diesel from spreading to adjacent bodies of water. 22,600 square metres of land along the river bank has also been treated with sorbent. On June 5, 72 Gazpromneft employees arrived at the scene of the accident with special equipment to assist in collecting fuel from the surface of water. That same day, Transneft employees also joined the decontamination effort with additional machinery and equipment.
“All these measures can significantly accelerate the rate of fuel collection. The pace increases every day,” said Nikolai Utkin, Nornickel VP and Polar Division head.
“The past day was a far greater volume of [decontamination] work than did previous days. We have, therefore, now created the necessary conditions to eliminate the [spilt oil] as quickly and efficiently as possible [and prevent any longterm consequences],” said Alexander Chupriyan, First Deputy Minister of Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry.
5 June 2020
As at 5 June 2020, a total of 6,730 tonnes of contaminated soil has been removed, and 400 tonnes of diesel fuel gathered up from the area around CHPP-3. Members of the Northern Branch of the Marine Rescue Service have collected 136.4 tonnes of diesel fuel from the surface of the Ambarnaya River.
6,500 sq m of area on the banks of the river have been treated with sorbents. To ensure an effective clean-up operation, 8 tonnes of sorbents have been shipped to Norilsk.
72 experts from Gazprom Neft are expected to arrive today, carrying special equipment to join the effort of collecting fuel from the water surface.
With a large task force in place, the Marine Rescue Service plans to apply a new fuel collection tactic by dividing the polluted area of the Ambarnaya River into sectors. Each sector will be covered by a mobile team of 10 people led by a Marine Rescue Service expert. According to the head of the rescue team, this approach will help pump out the fuel much faster.
4 June 2020
On 4 June, Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Alexander Uss and Minister for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters Yevgeny Zinichev arrived at the site of the accident, where a clean-up operation is now underway.
With 100 people and 20 tonnes of cargo, the Ministry’s task force is now in Norilsk to join the effort to contain the spill. Experts from oil companies are expected to arrive soon and help developing the best solutions for the oil products utilization after they are collected.
As of 4 June, a total of 1,450 cubic metres of contaminated soil has been removed, and 201 tonnes of diesel fuel pumped from the area around CHPP-3. Specialists of the Northern Branch of the Marine Rescue Service have collected 137 tonnes of diesel fuel from the surface of the Ambarnaya River.
Seven lines of spill booms have been installed at the Ambarnaya River.
2 June 2020
Sergey Dyachenko, Nornickel’s First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer who is in charge of the Company’s response efforts to eliminate the diesel fuel spill, arrived in Norilsk today.
Mr Daychenko inspected the scene of the incident, took a flight over the Norilsk-Pyasino water system (Lake Pyasino, Daldykan and Ambarnaya Rivers), and had a meeting with the Federal Marine Rescue Service team engaged by Nornickel to handle the incident response.
According to Sergey Dyachenko, the incident could have been caused by soil thawing. “We can assume that abnormally mild temperatures could have caused permafrost thawing resulting in partial subsidence of the tank’s supports,” commented Sergey Dyachenko. The Company’s First Vice President said negligence in operating the tank could not have been the case. “The tank is inspected every other year. There is a whole list of criteria for the inspection, which normally results in the tank tagged as serviceable,” he explained.
According to Sergey Dyachenko, thanks to the joint efforts of the Company, EMERCOM, Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources and Federal Marine Rescue Service representatives, who urgently arrived at the incident site from Murmansk, it took no more than 24 hours to contain the contamination and prevent its further spread. “At present the spill is contained in the Ambarnaya River by several cascades of booms, and the Marine Rescue Service experts are removing the contaminants from the water surface to have them processed thereafter. We will engage the best environmental minds and researchers to clean up the territory and prevent detrimental consequences for water bodies,” said Sergey Dyachenko.
2 June 2020
A working group led by Anatoly Tsykalov, Deputy Head of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Government, arrived in Norilsk to assess the consequences of the diesel fuel incident at NTEK’s CHPP-3 storage tank and post-incident clean-up efforts.
The group examined the incident site, the condition of Lake Pyasino and the Daldykan and Ambarnaya Rivers, and also discussed the progress of clean-up operations with representatives of the Federal Marine Rescue Service in their field camp. The experts had been invited to Norilsk by Nornickel.
“The Company has all the necessary resources to clean up the spill in a very short time, and they will cope with the challenge,” said Anatoly Tsykalov at a meeting after the site visit.
According to Sergey Lipin, CEO of NTEC, some 90 people a day are now dispatched to work as part of the emergency response team. “Today the Company has all the necessary mechanisation and financial resources. The situation is under control,” said Sergey Lipin.
31 May 2020
On 29 May 2020, an incident occurred at Norilsk’s CHPP-3 (Kayerkan District): due to sudden subsidence of supports which served for more than 30 years without problems, the diesel fuel storage tank was damaged, resulting in a fuel leak.
A car driving outside the storage depot caught fire due to contact with leaked fuel, causing a fire on an area of around 300 sq m. The fire was successfully contained and extinguished. The car driver did not suffer any injuries. The incident did not have any impact on the power and water supply networks in the Norilsk Industrial District.
Teams of Nornickel’s Polar Division and Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company) (NTEC, part of the Norilsk Nickel Group) promptly launched a fuel spill response operation.
By the morning of 30 May, Nornickel collected and pumped over 100 tonnes of fuel in the adjacent area, with the contaminated soil replaced and surface treated with sorbents. All contaminated soil has been removed for temporary storage to a land plot with a waterproof coating to prevent the release of petroleum products into the environment. In the near future, the collected petroleum products will be disposed of.
In partnership with the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources, the Company conducted aerial inspections of the Norilskaya-Pyasino water system to track fuel spills into water bodies. The Gas Safety Service is now installing booms in the estuary of the Ambarnaya River to collect petroleum products through sorbents and contain their further spread.
Currently, the NTEC team is inspecting the affected diesel fuel storage facilities, with special attention paid to the assessment of risks associated with the subsidence of soil under hazardous facilities in permafrost areas.