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Nornickel to develop sulfur program technology for Copper Plant in Norilsk before year end

"At the Copper Plant, the task is much more difficult, because there are two technological lines - one is ecological and the other is the production line that requires an upgrade," Vladimir Potanin added

NORILSK, July 28. /TASS/. The Norilsk Nickel Company (Nornickel) will develop technology for implementation of the Sulfur Program at the company's Copper Plant in Norilsk before the year end, Nornickel's President Vladimir Potanin told reporters.

The upgrade of the Copper Plant's capacities is the second stage of the company's Sulfur Program. The first stage is being implemented at the Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant.

"These are not simple solutions. Because [this] will require not only a technological solution to capture sulfur dioxide, but also technological solutions to upgrade the [Copper] plant. It has been relatively easier at the Nadezhda plant. As many Western partners have refused to cooperate with us, we had to redesign the project, to look for alternative supplies. We've managed it. At the Copper Plant, the task is much more difficult, because there are two technological lines - one is ecological and the other is the production line that requires an upgrade. We have been working on this, and by the end of the year the solutions will be formalized and reported to the prime minister," Potanin said, adding the company did not renounce its earlier obligations.

In September, the company will launch the Sulfur Program at the Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant, he continued. In the current year, the company expects to cut the emissions by 20% (against the reference level of 2015), and in 2024 - by 45%. Due to the program at the Copper Plant, emissions there will become 10 times less.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin paid a working visit to Norilsk on Thursday. He voiced the task to determine as quickly as possible how to upgrade the Copper Plant in Norilsk and to cut emissions there.

About Sulfur Project

Nornickel's Polar Division implements the Sulfur Program to cut sulfur dioxide emissions. It is the company's largest environmental project for a comprehensive upgrade of two core downstream facilities in the Norilsk Industrial District - the Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant and the Copper Plant.

Under the project, the company plans a partial redesign of the metallurgical production and construction of a new continuous converting unit and an acid neutralization line for the utilization of sulfur dioxide with necessary infrastructure projects. The program is part of the federal Clean Air project and is its largest event.

The Sulfur Program technologies offer capturing of at least 99% of sulfur dioxide at the main smelting units, where they will be used. The technologies comply with the specifics of the Norilsk Industrial District's ore base, with the used pyrometallurgical processes, as well as with the logistics limitations of Norilsk (a lack of external railway, a limited navigation period on the Yenisei River, the inter-navigation period where only air traffic is possible, and the Northern Sea Route logistics). Sulfuric acid from sulfur dioxide will be further neutralized by limestone to produce gypsum.

Norilsk Nickel is a diversified mining and metallurgical company. Its assets are located in Russia in the Norilsk Industrial District, on the Kola Peninsula and in the Trans-Baikal Region, as well as in Finland.