Norilsk Nickel aims to reduce pollution in Siberian city of Norilsk by 75% by 2020.

Norilsk-Russia Norilsk, Russia.(Photo: allaboutravelling.com)

The most polluted city in Russia, Norilsk in Siberia, might be seeing the end of the massive pollution from the metallurgical company Norilsk Nickel sooner, rather than later.

BarentsObserver writes that Norilsk Nickel signed a contract for a clean-up with the Canadian Company SNC-Lavalin Inc. this week. The contract is worth $1,7 billion, which makes it one of the biggest ever environmental investments made by the Norilsk Nickel company.

The goal of the project is to reduce Sulphur emissions by introducing new technical solutions on the ground in Norilsk. The project is due to be completed by 2020, and will make sure emissions are cut by as much as 75%.

The goal will be reached by catching emitted Sulphur dioxide from the plants in Norilsk. According to SNC-Lavalin, it is one of the biggest projects of its kind in the world.

If this project is completed, it bodes well for the city of Norilsk.

BarentsObserver also mentions that Norilsk Nickel closed its oldest and most polluting plant in Norilsk earlier this year, a melter built in 1942, removing annual emissions of about 380,000 tons of suplhur dioxide from its records.

The long term consequences of this shutdown is that large volumes of ore is sent to the Kola Peninsula for processing at the plant in Monchegorsk, which undoubtedly may lead to larger production and bigger amounts of polluting emissions in the Murmansk region.

Oskar Njaa

oskar@bellona.no