Nornickel produces metals that are essential for the green revolution.

Photograph: Wayne S. Grazio

The Russian metal producer, Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel), has been increasing the supply of metals to battery plants under construction throughout Europe over the recent years. According to Stanislas Henrion, the co-founder of the Cleantech Club platform, which provides expert analysis in the field of environment, Norilsk Nickel is not only an irreplaceable and sole supplier but also responsible for its supplies, which are easily tracked throughout the manufacture and operation of new vehicles.

“Nornickel produces metals that are essential for the green revolution, for the development of green technologies. Every day we will experience the need for these metals to build infrastructure, to produce electric vehicles. We are now talking a lot about hydrogen power, which will also require Nornickel’s products,” he said.

“Nornickel is allocating about 40 billion rubles to clean up the damage accumulated since the Soviet era.”

UN Goodwill Ambassador Vyacheslav Fetisov

At an event that was broadcast on the internet and by the Russian business TV channel RBC, where Norilsk Nickel presented its sustainable development report for 2020, Henrion explained why Nornickel plays a critical role in the green revolution:

“We are increasingly moving away from hydrocarbons in Europe, we are shifting to renewable energy sources—solar, wind. But these technologies require materials. Nornickel plays a critical role in this revolution. You are showing that this revolution is possible thanks to your green metals. You’re on top of the entire supply chain from extraction to distribution. Thanks to Nornickel’s participation in the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network it is possible to monitor and control how materials are produced and used, and through this control reduce the environmental impact, reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

UN Goodwill Ambassador Vyacheslav Fetisov also spoke about the Norilsk Nickel’s development plan.

“Nornickel is allocating about 40 billion rubles to clean up the damage accumulated since the Soviet era. With this sort of investment, it is obvious that the incident last year is a mistake or an oversight, not neglect of environmental issues. Overall, the company is pursuing an appropriate long-term development policy. I am convinced that such an approach will help to take into account and mitigate all possible risks, maintain production continuity, business stability, and the confidence of customers and partners,” Fetisov said.

The Russian government also noted that it supports Norilsk Nickel’s efforts to protect and restore the environment, including in the Arctic.

“Today the company has presented the results of its sustainable development program. The program involves considerable investments and considerable effort to modernize the company’s industrial infrastructure, improve industrial safety and restore the environment. This is very important, and we certainly support the work carried out by Nornickel,” said Alexei Beprozvannyk, the deputy minister of industry and trade.

Earlier in April Nornickel announced plans to ramp up sustainable nickel and cobalt production at its refinery in Finland—NN Harjavalta—in response to the growing European demand for high quality and responsibly sourced metals for the EV industry.

NN Harjavalta’s product range will be playing an important role in satisfying Johnson Matthey’s requirements for its precursor and cathode active materials production in Finland as well as for its existing factory in Poland.

Also, Norilsk Nickel signed a letter of intent to establish a battery recycling cluster in Harjavalta, Finland, to serve the electric vehicle market in partnership with Finnish energy company Fortum and German world’s leading chemical company BASF. This will successfully complete the “closed loop” recycling cycle for critical metals present in used batteries.