The Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel is investing over a billion U.S. dollars in preparing a comprehensive five-year program to modernize copper processing at its site in Monchegorsk.

Norilsk Nickel office in Norilsk, Russia. Norilsk Nickel is the world’s leading producer of nickel and palladium. It is ranked among the top ten copper producers. Photograph: Ninara/Flickr

Scientists from the Finnish Meteorological Institute follow the news from Russia. Scientists have learned from the media about the modernization program of the Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel and believe that this is good news.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute produces observation and research data on the atmosphere, the near space and the seas, as well as weather, sea, air quality and climate services for the needs of public safety, business life and citizens. The Finnish Meteorological Institute is an administrative branch of the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Earlier it was reported that the Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel is investing more than 91 billion rubles ($1.16 billion) in preparing a comprehensive five-year program to modernize copper processing at its site in Monchegorsk. The production site is located about 250 km from the border with Finland and 300 km from the border with Norway.

“Yes, we followed the news about this reform with great interest. We learned from the media that the nickel complex, which is closest to the Finnish border, will be closed and activities will be transferred to the Monchegorsk block, located 250 km from the border. In general, this is good news, but only if the new facilities in Monchegorsk are modern from an environmental point of view,” said FMI scientist Pia Anttila.

She also expressed the hope that these changes in the Russian industry could improve the environment, air quality and the content of heavy metals in the air in the future will decrease compared to the observations of previous years.

According to the Norilsk Nickel, emissions from the plants in the Kola Peninsula in 2018 dropped to 104,800 tons, a more than 60 percent reduction since 1998. The plants in Pechenga Rayon, the area located along the border to Norway and Finland, in 2018 emitted 68,190 tons. That is a 65 percent drop since 1998 when emissions amounted to 188,700 tons.

Further reductions are in the pipeline, the company says. By 2023, the total SO2 emissions will be cut by 75 percent.