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.
The Barents Region has some of the last largest areas of intact natural woodlands in Europe. Scientists, bureaucrats and environmentalists from all four Barents countries cooperate on preserving the forest, but an international initiative is needed.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.