The MMC Norilsk Nickel's Environmental Management System (EMS) has been successfully implemented since 2005 as part of the «Production, project management, storage, delivery,
including by sea, and sales (nickel, copper, cobalt, precious materials, sulfur, selenium, tellurium) program».
In 2014, EMS became a part of the Corporate Integrated Quality and Environmental Management System (CIMS). This made it possible to coordinate the environmental and quality management activities with other production, finance, labor, and general safety control activities.
Independent compliance and recertification audits
Internal environmental audits and inspections
Environmental training of personnel
EMS implementation and functioning resulted in a number of positive effects, including:
The corporate standpoints with regard to key environmental activities and priority environmental targets and tasks have been stated in the «Environmental Policy» adopted by the MMC Norilsk Nickel Management Board in 2011, which is available on the corporate website.
Based on the EMS expert review conducted under the CISM Analysis 2013, the Norilsk Nickel Environmental Policy 2014 has been adopted in full compliance with the Company strategic targets and priority tasks. In 2014, no amendments to Environmental Policy were made. Development of the Company's Environmental strategy commenced in 2014.
Roles, authorities, and responsibilities for environmental impacts have been defined in the Company's internal documents and CISM (EMS) documents.
The Company assures compliance with::
In general, the Group’s total expenditures and investments in environmental protection in 2014 comprised of RUB 19.4 billion, which is higher by 6.8% vs. 2013: current cost of environmental protection activities decreased by 2.8% vs. 2013 to RUB 13.9 billion, including current expenditures of Polar Division, RUB 12.9 billion, Kola MMC, RUB 0.8 billion.
In general, the Group’s expenditures for environmental protection activities increased by 42.1% to RUB 5.4 billion, including the Polar Division, RUB 4.3 billion, Kola MMC, RUB 0.9 billion.
Cost of environmental protection activities
Current cost of environmental protection measures
Reduction of airborne emissions (especially, sulfur dioxide and dust containing non-ferrous metals) is the main activity of the Company's business units with regard to reduction of pollutant emissions.
The Company ensures compliance with applicable regulations for inventory, valuation, and control of emissions to the atmosphere. All branches and affiliated companies have the necessary permits, licenses, approvals for emission of pollutants.
Quarterly and annual reporting on emissions, industrial control, decrease in emission volumes under nonfavorable meteorological conditions, etc., are regulated by the Company's internal documents.
Target emission volumes have been defined in annual plans and approved emissions volumes for the 5-year period and calendar year.
Sulfur production redesign projects consider reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions (by 2020) from Vanyukov furnaces at Medny Plant and from flash smelters at Nadezhdinsky Metallurgical Plant up to the maximum permissible emission level, which shall improve quality of the atmospheric air in Norilsk. In 2014, we continued development of project documentation, completed field surveys and inspections at Medny Plant and Nadezhdinsky Metallurgical Plant, started preparation activities in Nadezhdinsk.
The efficiency of the gas-treatment plant at the Cement works, Polar Division was increased in 2014.
Electric filters at Nadezhdinsky Metallurgical Plant were replaced as a part of the Project for the expansion of production capacity of pyrometallurgical production and processing of all nickel materials at the Polar Division.
A new technology was introduced in 2014 at the Polar Division site and Kola MMC, where the new concentrate caking facility replaced the burning shop. Once the caking technology is fully implemented, the sulfur dioxide emissions will be reduced from 34,000 tons (2014) to approx. 1,000 tons.
In 2014, in Monchegorsk, we continued the implementation of a new project «Nickel electrolysis workshop». Electric extraction of nickel from the nickel powder (capacity: 120k tons of electrolytic nickel per annum). The successful implementation of the project will result in substantial cuts of airborne emissions.
To reduce the volume/concentration of pollutants in the inhabitant areas under adverse weather conditions, in 2014, the Polar Division and Kola MMC enterprises set the special operation mode (reduction of production capacity up to shutdown) for more than 200 times.
In 2014, the Group implemented the following measures in the city of Norilsk and Taymyr Dolgano-Nenets Municipal District to continue the «Plan to reduce waste water emissions into the environment and water bodies»:
Specific measures are being implemented on an annual basis to reduce loads into the Dudinka and Yenisey rivers from the Polar transportation branch to prepare the port territories, flooded in spring, for the passage of flood waters. Waste products are regularly removed from the flooded areas, and the mooring berths are cleaned from dirt.
At the production floors of the OJSC Norilsk Support Complex local treatment facilities of the vitrification of pipes, polyurethane foam, and products were commissioned; an overhaul of local treatment plant supporting Mechanical Plant No. 3 was carried out; repairs and an overhaul of gas treatment equipment and industrial sewage systems were completed.
OJSC Norilskgeologiya has implemented measures to prevent leakage of liquid/drilling solutions to underground waters on a permanent basis.
In 2014, Taymyr Fuel Company CJSC completed the pre-commissioning of local treatment plant at Kaierkan bulk plant depot.
In 2014, Zapolayrnaya Building Company constructed 3 local treatment plants on the Kyllalh-Kuel, Teploye lakes and the river Dudinka to reduce negative impacts on these water bodies.
In 2014, Norilsk Gazprom constructed and commissioned biological wastewater treatment units to improve the quality of the discharged wastewater.
OJSC Norilsk Airport performed pre-commissioning activities of the collector and treatment plant.
OJSC Kola MMC cleaned the process tank at Monchegorsk site; the volume of cycled water at concentrating mill was increased; the engineering of the mining water treatment plant started at Severny-Gluboky mine. The nickel refinement salt outflow treatment plant project has been launched at the Monchegorsk site.
The overhaul of tailing ponds at Nadezhdinsk Steel Works continued in 2014 as a part of the Program for waste disposal site development and construction. The construction of a new tailings storage is performed as a part of the overhaul and technical upgrade of Talnakh mill (capacity increased up to 16 mln t/year). This will ensure environmental-friendly storage and disposal of tailings (up to 6 mln t/year).
There were continued works for the use of waste in preparation of filling compounds for the mined-out spaces (granulated slag after melting of non-ferrous metals, overburden and hard rocks, mill tailings), for the use of waste as a flux for melting of metal in melting furnaces.
In 2014 Norilsk Gazprom continued implementing projects of solid domestic and industrial waste dump sites at Severo-Soleninskiy gas-condensate field, Yuzhno-Soleninskiy gas-condensate field, Messoyakhsky oil and gas field, settlement Tukhard.
Production activities of the multifunctional (production and service) Polar Division mainly affect the environment in the city of Norilsk.
57 pollutants are released to atmosphere in this area. The main pollutant is sulfur dioxide, which comprises about 97 % of all pollutant volume.
In general, the total volume of emissions for the Polar Division in 2014 was 1,828.1 thousand tons (taking into account recalculation of NO as NO2); this is 83.9 thousand tons (4.5%) less than in 2013, mainly due to decrease of sulfur dioxide emissions. Lower sulfur dioxide emission volume is due to the use of the raw materials with lower sulfur content and scheduled overhaul of the main process systems at Nadezhdinsky Metallurgical Plant and Medny Plant.
Kola MMC production activities mostly impacts the environments of Monchegorsk, Zapolyarny, and the Nickel settlement. The main pollutants produced during processing of copper-nickel raw materials at the production sites are sulfur compounds and dust containing heavy nonferrous metals: nickel, copper.
The total reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions by Kola MMC in 2014 is due to higher volumes of sulfur extraction into sulfuric acid at Monchegorsk site (from 71.1% in 2013 to 73.6% in 2014). However, the volume of emissions increased at Zapolyarny Nickel site due to the newly implemented briquette processing technology in the melting shop and simultaneous optimization of the briquette melting process at mine-thermal furnaces at Nickel site. This also explains the increase in emission of solid matters at Kola MMC by 17.8% vs. in 2013.
In 2014, the total volume of airborne emissions remained within the norms approved for the Norilsk Nickel Group.
In accordance with legislation, starting from 2015, the Company shall report the use of ozone-destroying substances to the Ministry of Natural Resources. The Group neither produce nor use the ozone-destroying substances, except for the small amounts used as a chemical agent for the laboratory-based chemical analysis as well as for filling and topping of compressor plants for air conditioning plants, industrial air conditioning units, and gas-cut water automated plants (the water is used as a cooling agent for medium- and low-temperature refrigerating equipment).
In 2014, the use and emission of ozone-destroying substances (CCl4) comprised 55.8 kg.
The Group withdraws water from surface and underground sources (see Interactive Report) for drinking, production, and process needs of own business units, as well as community and shipping activities.
The water withdrawal complies with the approved limits, without any major impact on water bodies. Water is neither consumed from the Ramsar Wetlands nor from other conserved natural territories.
In 2014, total amount of water withdrawn by the Group decreased by 0.2 %. This is mainly due to fluctuations in mine and quarry water volumes vs. third party wastewater.
In 2014, the Company continued the optimization of water use and the reduction of the wastewater discharge to surface waters.
In 2014, total volume of the wastewater disposal by the Group decreased by 0.4% (0.55 million m3
The Group's wastewater disposal and land drainage volumes do not exceed the approved limits, including admissible impact limits, and do not make a major impact on biodiversity of water bodies and wildlife habitual areas.
recycled water volumes exceed 90% of the total water consumption, or over 1 billion m3. Recycled water at Kola MMC is 150 million m3(end of 2014) (85.8 % of total water withdrawal).
The Company intends to minimize the technogenic waste materials loads to environment. Over 90% of the Group's production wastes refers to the 5th hazardous class (nonhazardous wastes). These include rock and overburden removing, tailings, metallurgical slag used in own production and for construction and strengthening of tailing storage, for preparation of filling compounds, for railroad bodies, road filling, etc.
The volume of waste in the whole group of companies of Norilsk Nickel decreased by 5.0 million tons in 2014 compared to 2013 (-13.3%) due to the reduction of waste production of the Polar Division and OJSC Kola MMC.
The Group companies do not carry out cross-border waste transport which is subject to the Basel convention.
Waste management in 2014 was carried out by the Group in accordance with any and all permits..
Lower waste generation resulted in lowering of all waste management (disposal) indicators.
The Polar Division, Kola MMC, and the Company have been maintaining a stable waste generation level of about 50% within the last 6 years (2009–2014).
The Group's transportation and logistics units own the necessary approvals, licenses, and permits and strictly adhere to the applicable environmental protection regulations. All such business units are subject to regular inspections by supervising bodies.
The Group's transportation vehicles and other machinery equipment undergo regular technical inspection to prevent air pollution during operations; the content of pollutants in exit gases is measured every quarter. The volumes of pollution due to personnel and cargo transportation activities (including airborne emissions from moving sources) do not exceed permissible concentrations. Most effective traffic routes have been selected (also using existing passage ways) to ensure maximum conservation of soil and top soil levels. Leakage of fuel and lubrication materials at fuel-filling and storage stations are controlled by the specially-designed protection system (hard surface, berms, oil traps, etc.).
The TaymyrGas products (gas and gas condensate) are transported by the main pipelines (gas pipeline and gas condensate pipeline) Pelyatkinskoe GKM – Dudinka – Norilsk. In 2014, no major leakages were observed.
Marine fuels are purchased from the vendors who have the necessary documents confirming quality of the fuels. The quality of fuel is verified by a third-party laboratory. Onboard waste water treatment plants are subject to annual certification. All vessels are equipped with the ballast water treatment systems. Subject to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, the waste is, in a timely manner, forwarded to special contractor(s) for processing, disposal, or storage
Raw materials and end products are transported in special railroad containers. No major impacts are achieved due to transportation by the railroad transport.
Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta's main impacts are air emissions of ammonia (NH3), and nickel, as well as discharge of nickel (Ni), sulfates (SO42-), and ammonia ions (NH4+) to water. In 2014, the Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta actual emission and discharge volumes as well as the waste disposal volumes complied to the available licenses.
On July 6, 2014, an accident at the Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta OY (Finland) nickel-refining plant resulted in the accident release of cooling liquid to the river Kokemaenjoki. The leaked solution contained 66 tons of nickel and 1.3 tons of cobalt. The reason (failure of heat exchanger) was promptly eliminated. The Company's representatives immediately reported the issue to local authorities and mass media and participated in further discussions. Subject to the environmental department data, the nickel and cobalt concentrations dropped to the safe level in the middle of July 2014.
Based on the further analysis of the causes, Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta OY decided to purchase and commission new equipment, which will help prevent such accidents in the future; in addition to this, the company updated the corporate process safety and environmental responsibility regulations.
Kola MMC is located 15 km from the «Pasvick» natural park and 10 km from the «Lapland» natural park. The Putoransky natural park buffer zone is located 80–100 km away from the Polar Division sites.
At present, the Company's production facilities have no remarkable effects on the territories in the vicinity of the natural parks. In any case, the Company co-operates with the natural parks on a regular basis.
In 2014, the Taymyr Wildlife Park Joint Directorate awarded RUB 5.6 million as a nominee of the social and charitable program «World of New Opportunities», the sum was provided by the Company as funding for the following two projects: Development of a tourist area Lake Lama – Lake Glubokoye – Lake Sobachie, and the «Summer Field eco-ethnographic camp «Environmental Troopers». The Directorate also received RUB 266,000 as a dedicated charitable assistance for the purchase of construction materials and organization of jubilee events.
2014 is the jubilee year for the Taymyr wildlife areas: Big Arctic wildlife park (the biggest in Eurasia) was founded 20 years ago, Putoransky wildlife park (covers the Putorano plateau territory, UNESCO heritage site, 25 years ago, and Taymyr wildlife park, 35 years ago
In 2013, the Joint Directorate's project aimed at decreasing the poaching level on the Big Norilsk Lakes awarded financial support as a part of the contest «Our Future is Our Responsibility». In 2014, whitebait was released into the water bodies; specific surveys were conducted, and several research papers were published.
The state wildlife park Pasvik is entered to the Look-ahead List of international-level wetlands (Ramsar Convention) (under the name of the Fjarvann – Polygon Skonninga). The wildlife park covers a total area of 14,727 ha.
The wildlife park became a winner under the charitable program «World of New Opportunities». The wildlife park initiated the Project focused on environmental protection and traditional water consumption in the valley of the River Paz and in the vicinity of Kola MMC; in addition to this, the park became a partner for another project
related to foundation of international ecological hi-tech camp based in school No. 11 of the Rajakoski settlement in Pechenega District.
In 2014, the Company allocated funds for construction of the wildlife park visitor’s centre and assigned RUB 5.5 million as a financial assistance.
The Lapland State Natural Biospheric Reserve is the Europe's biggest wildlife park territory. It covers an area of 278,435 ha (including 8,574 ha water area).
In 2014, the wildlife park received RUB 1.8 million as a dedicated beneficial assistance for construction of a visitor’s centre.
The Company's Polar Division develops Oktyabr, Talnakh, and Norilsk-1 fields; OJSC Kola MMC develops Zhdanovskaoe, Zapolyarnoe, and Semiletka fields. Mining liquidation and soil recovery projects are conducted in compliance with valid Russian legislation; special funds are assigned to support liquidation and recultivation activities. The projects make provisions for developing, construction of slopes, hydro-technic and reclamation construction, and other works. It should be noted that liquidation or preservation of the Company-developed fields and recultivation of soil is scheduled for 2050 at the earliest.
In addition to this, Kola MMC performs annual re-cultivation of the areas subject to technogenic disturbance. For this purpose, in 2014, over 4,000 tons of organic fertilizers were supplied to Monchegorsk; and RUB 5 million was assigned for the purchase of ornamental bushes.
As part of a citywide landscaping and restoration of urban landscapes and the surrounding areas of the city of Norilsk program in 2014, Norilsk together with the city administration implemented measures to clean up and develop areas, water bodies, and tourist/recreation zones.
The key aspects of concern related to climate change for the Company’s activities are soils thawing and the possible breakdown in water supplies for the communities and industrial facilities in Norilsk during severe drought.
The Norilsk Nickel Group’s main production assets are located beyond the Arctic Circle. Norilsk is a top-5 most northern city. Averaged monthly negative temperatures are observed here for 8 months in the year.
In 2012–2014, the Group increased consumption of primary energy by 8.4 % mostly due to severe winters in 2012/2013 and 2013/2014, which resulted in a sharp growth of natural gas consumption
The Company's hydrocarbon production (natural gas and condensate) fields:
Pelyatninskoye field owned by OJSC TaymyrGas (affiliated company) is one of the biggest gas condensate fields developed by the Company. It supplies natural gas to Norilsk-based industrial companies. The other fields (Messoyakh gas field, Yuzhno-Soleninsk, and Severo-Soleninsk gas condensate fields) are developed by OJSC Norilsk Gazprom (also an affiliated company)..
The Norilsk Nickel and NTEK gas is used for heat and electric energy generation, as well as for the Company's own operations. Main operation locations are in the Taymyr Dolgano-Nenets Municipal District (Krasnoyarsk Krai), Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Territory (Tyumen Region), city of Norilsk (Krasnoyarsk Krai).
Coal consumption increased by 5.6% due to changed configuration of production processes at the main units of Polar Division. A decrease in natural gas consumption (by 3.3%) by the Group is due to the growth of own generation (at Ust-Khantaisk and Kureisk HEPS) without consumption of natural gas. The consumption of diesel fuel and fuel oil remains unchanged for the reported period.
There are no major changes in consumption of electric and heat energy and steam by the Group.
The consumption structure remains unchanged. The total consumption structure comprises of electric energy (59.3%), heat energy for heating (27.9%), steam and low-potential heat for production process (12.8%).
The volume of energy supplied to the Norilsk consumers (community and organizations) remained the same in 2012–2014 and in 2014 and totaled 17,256 ТJ, or 2.4 billion kW*h and 2.3 million Gkal. The volume of heat energy supplied to the communities on the Kola Peninsula is 3,184 ТJ (2014).
In May 2014, within the framework of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, MMC Norilsk Nickel and Rosseti signed an agreement on the co-operation and implementation of measures to improve functionality of the Taymyr Peninsula energy system, with the possibility of its connection to the Unified National (All-Russian) Energy Network. The Parties agreed to jointly complete feasibility studies and develop an implementation program with due account for the Unified Energy System and Krasnoyarsk Krai energy projects.
The heat energy is purchased from a third-party supplier at the Kola Peninsula. In 2014, 6,854 TJ of 9,790 TJ heat energy consumed by Kola MMC was purchased from a third-party supplier.
In 2014, the Group's Russian units saved 2,451 TJ of energy due to implementation of various measures (the same indicator is higher by 393 TJ in 2013).
In 2013, the saving became possible due to re-adjustment or replacement of equipment (56.5%); the same tendency is maintained in 2014–about 42% of the energy was saved due to the renovation and replacement of high-consuming equipment. Change of operation mode at the main production assets made it possible to save 9.6%, while changes of the personnel behavior resulted in 30.7% saving (higher by 1/3 in 2013).
Changes in the structure of energy saving type of resources are due to upgrades and replacement of heat distribution pipes and steam pipes in the Norilsk Industrial District.
The ratio of thermal energy saving improved up to 41.7%; this speaks for the efficiency of the adopted Program for improving energy efficiency of the Polar Division’s main production assets (2014).
In 2014, nonindustrial assets and energy unit together with a specialized contractor completed the survey of a unified energy system of the Norilsk Industrial District. The survey results were used in preparation of the upgrade, renewal and replacement program, which will cover energy generating assets as well as infrastructure, substation and other main elements of the Norilsk Industrial District energy system. The program describes the measures to be implemented up to 2025. Realization of the program commenced from the date of approval and will be conducted following the agreed schedule.
The Company is always ready to discuss environmental-related issues with any and all parties concerned, support educational projects, preserve environmental and historic sites, and develop cross-border environmental-protection communications.
The Company took part in the panel discussion «On the Implementation of the Concept of State Policy of the Krasnoyarsk Krai in the Field of Environmental Safety and Protection of the Environment up to 2030», held at the Krasnoyarsk Krai Legislative Assembly in October 2014. This event was also attended by the representatives of the regional leading enterprises, including the Polar Division. The participants developed recommendations for the authorities and companies of the Krasnoyarsk Krai.
Starting from 2012, the information about environmental protection activities of Polar Division can be obtained from a call centre (free local number 007).
The call centre provides short-term prognosis on environmental situation in the city.
In August 2014, Svanhovd (Norway) hosted the international workshop «Fennoscandia Green Belt». Russia was presented by the Pasvik wildlife park. The participants noted «in general, a good condition of flora and fauna in the Pasvik wildlife park, despite the vicinity to large Kola MMC».
The Company also supported (August 2014) annual ecological workshop held as a part of international school program «Fenology of Northern Kallot» (Norway). This is a joint program of the Svanhovd Ecology Centre (Norway) and Pasvik wildlife park that introduces the environment protection measures in the Barents Sea Region.
In September 2014, the team from the Association of Engineers Ruukki Metals Oy (Finland) visited the Zapolyarny and Nickel sites of Kola MMC. The purpose of the visit was to establish a mutually beneficial co-operation in mining and metallurgic fields, including a decrease of technogenic impact on environment.
In October 2014, the Monchegorsk site was visited by a camera crew from RBK-TV (they were preparing a film describing the efforts of large industrial companies to minimize technogenic impacts); the focus was set on the utilization of the nickel refinement salt outflow; this project will help decrease negative impacts on the Monchegorsk aquatic and ecologic systems.
The book Hans Skonning – the First Ornithologist of «Pasvik» (published in Russian, English, and Norwegian) was presented in November 2014 in Nickel and Zapolyarny (Russia) and Kirkeness (Norway). Kola MMC was among those who supported this project
In December 2014, during the Environment Protection Conference initiated by the RF Ministry of Ecology and Natural resources,
Kola MMC presented the report «The Practice of Environmental Monitoring in the Area of Influence of JSC Kola MMC». The Company's representative spoke about long-term research activities in wildlife parks: