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On border town’s wish list, 33 billion RUB of investments

The mono-town of Nickel seeks economic diversification. Photo. Atle Staalesen

A new investment plan for the Russian town of Nikel includes the development of a major transport and logistics hub near the border to Norway and the reconstruction of the Pechenganickel plant.

Location

The plan, which was discussed by Murmansk Deputy Governor Aleksandr Grivnyak together with local authorities this week, includes measures with a total price tag of 33 billion RUB (€820 million), a press release from the regional government reads.

According to the plan, a major transport and logistics center including a customs terminal for handling of goods will be built about 20 km from the border to Norway. The plan also includes the reconstruction of the melter of the local Pechenganickel plant, the run-down and heavily polluting processing plant owned by Norilsk Nickel. In addition, tourism services will be developed and a local visitor center for the nearby Pasvik natural park built.

It is the local municipality of Nikel which itself has developed the plan, which is part of an effort to move towards a more diversified local economy. With its heavily dominating processing plant, the town with about 12.000 inhabitants is defined as a socalled mono-town.

“We support the investment plan and will give it our green light as soon as remarks and unclarities are revised”, Deputy Governor Grivnyak said in Tuesday’s meeting.

Murmansk Oblast has a total of eight mono-towns, all of which are about to get specially designed investment plans.