Nickel Plant Closure
In August 2016, Norilsk Nickel completed an important stage of a large-scale sustainability-driven production capacity reconfiguration programme, under which the obsolete Nickel Plant was completely shut down.
The Nickel Plant is the Company’s oldest asset (commissioned back in 1942) located within the city of Norilsk, Russia.
Historical outlook — the Nickel Plant’s key milestones
The first ladle of converter matte was poured at furnace No.1 of the Big Metallurgical Plant which later changed its name to the Nickel Plant in 1948
The first batch of cathode nickel was produced which had been long awaited at the country’s defence plants. Four months later the first T-34 tank with armour made of Norilsk metal rolled off the production line
The Tank-house was officially opened
The first ore thermal furnace at the plant was put into operation, which was at the time the biggest in Europe
Construction of the drying shop
Construction of the converter matte shop
Construction of the sinter shop
Nickel Plant. View from helicopter
Nickel Plant. View from helicopter
Journalist’s visit of Norilsk and the Norilsk Nickel enterprise
Nickel Plant Shutdown Timeline
Preparation23 May 2014
Nornickel, Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the government of Krasnoyarsk Territory and Norilsk City Administration signed an agreement on the Nickel Plant’s accelerated shutdown.2015–2016
- All the required modernisation activities were completed at the Polar Division facilities to process all nickel feedstock from the Nickel Plant.
- Nickel concentrate smelting capacities were expanded at the Company’s other production assets (Kola MMC, Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta and the Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant).
- Electrolytic nickel production was relocated from the Taymyr Peninsula — to Kola MMC and Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta.
- Major reconstruction at the Talnakh Concentrator was performed to ramp up its capacities and modernise technology; as a result, an efficient modern non-ferrous metal ore dressing centre was launched.
Unprecedented job creation and training programmes were implemented along with social programmes aimed at supporting the workers from the plant; due to the large-scale of the project, a package of measures was offered to the workers who wanted to continue working for the Company and for those wanting to retire.
- Designated consulting centres were established where workers could seek advice about other professions and receive support in their job search.
- In order to preserve the staff’s unique competencies, the Polar Division’s functions and Russian subsidiaries took steps to create additional jobs for the workers.
- Professional training was largely carried out by the Norilsk Nickel Corporate University, in line with its existing programmes; for those who opted to discontinue their employment, various social programmes were developed and delivered (including the Metallurgy Veterans Programme and benefits for vulnerable categories).
Plant shutdownFebruary 2016
Start of the Nickel Plant’s gradual shutdown.August 2016
Complete shutdown of all technological processes at the Nickel Plant.
Nickel Plant DecommissioningIn
Dismantling and conservation work will be performed at the Nickel Plant facilities in the Polar Division.
- Following the modernisation project, the region saw a dramatic improvement in its environmental position due to both a reduction in pollutant air emissions and enhanced process flow sustainability advances at other metal production facilities of the Polar Division.
- Waste is no longer generated by the core operations (including coal processing waste and metallurgic slag)
- Professional re-training was organised for workers transferred to the Company’s other subsidiaries.
- Total investments to shut down the Nickel Plant and modernise the production chain with a view to making it more technologically advanced and reduce the number of air pollution sources in the Polar Division over 2014–2016 totalled approx. USD 900 m.