Icebreaking independence for Norilsk Nickel

Mining and metallurgy giant Norilsk Nickel has raised the Russian flag on the second of its ice-protected freight vessels. Already next year, the company will have a fleet of five brand new Arctic vessels, enabling it to cut shipping costs with 30 percent and secure independence from the state-owned fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers.


The new-built vessel “Monchegorsk” is now ready to leave the Aker shipyard in German Wismar and head towards it home port of Murmansk, a press release from Norilsk Nickel’s regional subsidiary Kolskaya GMK informs. The new ship will be Norilsk the second ice-protected vessel. The first, the “Norilsk Nickel” has already operated the route between Dudinka in the Yenisey River and Murmansk for two years.

Already in 2009, the mining and metallurgy giant will have a total of five new ice-protected vessels able to ship through 1,5 meter of Arctic ice. The new fleet will enable the company to cut shipping cost with a third and secure independence from the services of the state-owned icebreaker fleet. Until now, Norilsk Nickel has bought icebreaker services from the Murmansk Shipping company, which has been managing the fleet of state-owned nuclear-powered icebreakers.

The vessels have a price tag of 70-80 million EUR each, newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta reports.

Norilsk Nickel is the world’s biggest producer of nickel, as well as a major producer of cupper, platinum and palladium. Major shipping operations are regularly conducted from the port of Dudinka close to the company’s key production areas in the Taymyr peninsula to Murmansk Oblast where processing facilities are located.










Photo: ice-protected vessel “Norilskii Nickel” (