A Russian Christmas gift for Norway was called the closure of a metallurgical plant in the town of Nikel, Murmansk region. This opinion was expressed by environmental activists.
The outlet from the Nornickel nickelmelting plant in Nikel have made many different influences to the surrounding through the years. Therefore, the closure of this production can have a positive impact on the environment, according to the Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy Research and Norwegian Institute for Air Research.
In the 1970s and 1980s, there were serious environmental problems in the area, including on the Norwegian side. Since then, emissions have dropped, and now it’s more about an air quality issue. “Although the concentrations at our monitoring stations have been in compliance with Norwegian threshold values, we still experience episodes with very high concentrations of SO2.” Tore Flatlandsmo Berglen, who works at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, told.
Production at Zapolyarnoye will continue, leading to a reduction in emissions. However, the closure of the Nikel plant is good news for both air quality in Norway and the environment, as well as for Russian-Norwegian cooperation, Berglen is sure.
Paul Erik Asfolm, researcher at NIBIO Svanhovd or the Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomic Research, noted the restoration of nature.
“From the perspective of nature protection, the stopping of SO2 and other pollutants from the Nickel- melting plant will make the nature to recover slowly. Already, there are some changes in the nature as a response to the lowering emissions since the 1990-thies. The process of recovery is slowly but visible through some decades,” noted the scientist.
Thomas Nielsen, a Norwegian journalist who broadly reports on oil drilling in the Arctic region, believes the modernization plan is a welcome development.
“It’s 30 years of overtime, but it’s very enjoyable. This will be the largest reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions in Northern Europe in many, many decades. It is very good. Not only for the nature of the Kola Peninsula in Russia, but also for nature and people in the border areas of Finnmark,” Nielsen told local media.
Also Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel is modernizing production and will soon become a green company, said the largest shareholder of the mining company, businessman Vladimir Potanin.
“We belong to the category of people who care about criticism, who listen to this criticism, especially in its constructive part, and therefore, of course, we wanted to make such – well, a business card of our company, to demonstrate that we are not just talking about that we will be a green company sometime, but right here and now to do and show something,” Potanin said.
Earlier it was reported that the Russian “Norilsk Nickel”, the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium, closed a metallurgical plant in the city of Nickel in northern Russia. Kola is a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel on the Kola Peninsula with mines and processing plants and pellets in Zapolyarny, as well as metallurgical plants in Monchegorsk and a plant in Nikel, closed on December 23, 2020.