Russia’s Nornickel decided to shut down its nickel-copper smelter at Nikel, Russia to curtail sulphur dioxide emissions at the border with Norway under its environmental program.
The closure is expected to reduce sulphur dioxide emission in the area by 50pc this year and about 85pc in 2021 against 2015 levels. According to the company’s release, 72pc of the 660 employees at the smelter have found employment in other divisions within Nornickel while remainder will be relocated soon. The old smelter will be cleaned within a year and all equipment will be sent for recycling. The site has been pledged to an investor for setting up a mini metallurgical plant producing grinding balls, as long as operations are eco-friendly.
With the Nikel smelter shut, the company is building a modern smelter at Monchegorsk to meet expected demand for nickel and copper from the electric vehicles industry. No further details of the new plant are available yet.