Norway withdraws money for Norilsk Nickel cleansing
The Norwegian government confirms that it is likely to withdraw a multi-million Euro grant to world nickel producer number one Norilsk Nickel, as the company has failed to introduce green technology at its plant in Nikel, near the border to Norway.
Deputy Minister of Environment, Ms. Heidi Sørensen confirms to NRK that the money to the mining and metallurgy company is likely to be withdrawn.
-We feel that time is about to run out for the deal on cleansing of the nickel plant, Ms Sørensen says. –The deadline is 2010 – if they have not completed the cleansing by then, there will be no money, she underlines, adding that the deadline will not be extended.
The Nikel plant now emits about 90,000 tons of sulphure, which is several times more than the total Norwegian emissions.
Norway in 1990 allocated 300 millon NOK for the environmentally friendly upgrade of the nickel plant. Since then however, no upgrades have been made. The money has been managed by the Nordic Investment Bank in Helsinki.
In a meeting in Kirkenes, Norway, in June 2008, director of Norilsk Nickel subsidiary Kolskaya GMK Vladimir Potapov confirmed that his company does not need the Norwegian money. As a matter of fact, he also stated that Norilsk Nickel intends to close the plant in Nikel and move production to Monchegorsk further south in Murmansk Oblast.