Russian industrial giant ’Nornickel’ to spend more than $146 million on fuel spill cleanup
Following a 20,000 ton fuel spill at a power plant in the Russian Arctic, the plant’s owner, aluminum giant “Nornickel,” is planning to pay for the cleanup in full, said company President Vladimir Potanin during a video conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to Potanin’s estimates, the cost of cleanup will exceed 10 billion rubles ($146 million), without taking into account the fines the company will face for environmental damage.
“We are focused on using the best available technologies and are selecting the optimal, and not the cheapest solutions, from an ecological perspective. And we will finance this in full at the expense of the company. Not a single ruble from [state] budget funds will go towards this,” Potanin said.
The fuel spill in question took place at a combined heat and power plant (CHP) belonging to the Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company (a subsidiary of Nornickel) in the industrial city Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, on May 29. Diesel fuel spread into the ground around the plant, and spilled into the Daldykan and Ambarnaya rivers, contaminating an 180,000 square meter area.
Officials in Krasnoyarsk Krai took two days to respond to the accident, claiming that experts led them to believe that there was no significant environmental damage. The region declared a state of emergency on June 3. Officials also launched three criminal cases for ecological damage. Greenpeace Russia estimates that there is at least $86.3 million in damage to bodies of water in the region alone.