Mega polluter cashes out $2 bn dividend

Norilsk-Nickel is the world's largest producer of nickel.

Norilsk-Nickel, the largest air-polluter in the Barents Region, doubles the payout to shareholders by paying 90 percent of its net profit in dividends.


Norilsk-Nickel operates the smelters in Nikel and Monchegorsk as well as the nickel-mines in Zapolyarny on Russia’s Kola Peninsula. The industrial giant posted a $2,1 billion (€1,59 billion) net profit for 2012.

On Thursday, the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders approved the consolidated financial report for last year and decided to cash out dividends of RUB 400,83 (€9,35) per ordinary share, reads a statement posted on the company’s portal. The payout if doubled compared with a year earlier.

Among the largest shareholders in Norilsk-Nickel are Vladimir Potanin, Oleg Deripaska and Roman Abramovich. All three billionaires are high up on Russia’s top list of wealthy people.

Despite extreme income, and Norilsk-Nickel’s $2,1 billion net profit, no funding has been provided to re-build the old smelter in the town of Nikel, some few kilometers from the border to Norway. The pollution from Nikel has for 25 years been a torn for the, beyond that, good Barents Cooperation. Before arriving at the Barents Summit in Kirkenes earlier this week, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt tweeted “Next Tuesday in Kirkenes we’ll celebrate 20 years of Barents Council – and of this obvious failure. Serious issue,” with a link to BarentsObserver’s Opinion 20-years without pollution solution.

While the top ministers were meeting for the Barents Summit on Tuesday, the suplhure dioxide emission from Nikel exceeded the allow norm by more than four times. The emission from the plant is around 90,000 tons of SO2 annually. In addition is the serious pollution of heavy metals negatively affecting the fragile environment in the Norwegian, Russian border region.

On June 5th, the World Environment day, Norilsk-Nickel partook in the all-Russian Zero Negative Environmental Impact by suspending production, and by that stopping emission, at a number of workshops and plants from 9 am to 11 am both in Norilsk and in the Murmansk region. 

“Norilsk Nickel wishes to congratulate all who can relate to protection of the environment on today’s occasion of the Environmentalist Day and wishes them every success,” reads a company press-release.