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Nornickel, Murmansk Region agree to develop tourism, education programs

The cooperation is also aimed at fostering new areas of business, according to Nornickel's press service

TASS, October 18. The Murmansk Region’s government and the Nornickel Mining and Metallurgical Company signed in Moscow an agreement on cooperation, the company’s press service said on Thursday. The company with support from the local authorities will implement in the region projects in education and in tourism infrastructure.

"The Murmansk Region’s government and Nornickel unite efforts to develop the region," the press service said. "The Murmansk Region’s Governor Andrei Chibis and by Nornickel’s President Vladimir Potanin have put signatures under the document."

The cooperation is aimed also at development of new business directions, the press service continued. For example, the company and the region will implement projects in professional training so that Nornickel could have qualified labor resources. Another new direction is development of the tourism sphere, including Nornickel’s initiatives to organize local tourism infrastructures and to promote social and cultural projects.

"It is very important for us that big companies see in the Murmansk Region not only a production base, but a region of opportunities," Governor Andrei Chibis said. "Including opportunities in our priority spheres like tourism and education."

Nornickel’s president, in his turn, called it a priority to develop the territory of the company’s presence.

"Such cooperation guarantees successful development both for the region and for the company," he said. "We believe in the Murmansk Region’s major potential to develop tourism, and we plan to make an input in it - by improving the ecology situation, and also by taking part in organization of big tourism infrastructures."

Tourism cluster

The Murmansk Region’s governor said the region and Nornickel had agreed to draft a joint project to make a new tourism product, and an infrastructure complex.

"It would be a major investment project, a public-private partnership with the Nornickel Company, which will allow us to attract investments and tourists, to offer new jobs," the governor said.

According to Nornickel’s president, it would be not just a project - the region and the company will develop a tourism cluster, as "the Murmansk Region offers various attractions: the wonderful nature conditions, historical places and places of military glory, as well as interesting places for industrial tourism."

"Thus, in my opinion, within five-seven years we may organize a rather interesting infrastructure," Potanin said.

Nornickel’s president did not specify amount of planned investments since work on the project is underway, but those would be "billions of rubles and hundreds jobs."

"The participation in organization of a tourism cluster would be an "icon", which Norilsk Nickel wants to keep after its ecology program is implemented," he said.