The Federation Council, Russian Parliament’s Upper Chamber, held a working discussion regarding the extensive arrangement aimed at developing Norilsk, the city located in the Arctic. The Russian Government approved the plan on 14 December 2021. Pursuant to this project, RUB 120 bn will be allocated to the development of Norilsk up to 2035. This project is of high importance for Nornickel due to the company’s goals in addressing and resolving Norilsk environmental and social issues. The plan considers the recommendations enshrined in the resolution of the Federation Council dated 3 November 2020 dedicated to the socio-economic development of Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai.

Valentina Matvienko stated that although a lot has already been done for the Norilsk development, this plan is perceived as a beginning of the important path. She shared her utmost confidence that all the stakeholders of the project will deal with it responsibly. Mrs Matvienko thanked Nornickel for a high level of commitment and responsibility along with extra investment of funds in addition to those contained in the agreement. She added that these efforts to make the project exemplary and of high level could potentially make it a pilot one for other core cities of the Arctic zone. Therefore, it will be serving not only to the Norilsk ecology but to the region as a whole.

Alexey Chekunkov, the Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, stated that the development of the Arctic cities has to be based on the principle of exchange of knowledge and experience. He said that the Norilsk project is a crucial example of a private-public partnership where governing approaches, technical, urban and construction solutions will be used and extended throughout the Arctic zone in Russia.

Vladimir Potanin, Nornickel President, asserted that the prosperity and abundance of Norilsk is futile without Nornickel development, and vice versa – Nornickel would never be able to achieve its ambitious aspirations without sustainable socio-economic prosperity in Norilsk. He said that the mission of the current generation is to guarantee Norilsk’s growth, affluence and sustainable development. Nornickel’s commitment to sustainable development and green economy would be preposterous without shaping a modern and comfortable urban space in the city while addressing Norilsk pollution and other environmental issues. He shared the numbers, according to which Nornickel’s investment plans for the upcoming ten years are equal to RUB 2.5 trillion. Mr. Potanin said that the Company voted to allocate additional RUB 150 bn in addition to the initially approved RUB 120 bn for the city’s development. Finally, he added that, by 2023, the residents of Norilsk and the company’s employees would be able to appreciate the realisation of the development plan in practice.

Alexander Uss, the governor of the Krasnoyarsk Krai, said that the Russian government’s approvement of the Norilsk development plan until 2035 will lead to resolving of ecological consequences of the calamity along with fundamental changes of the approaches to industrial safety and the urban enhancement of the city. The latter is considered to be the most challenging part of the plan. Mr. Uss stated that they have all reasons to trust that the upcoming year will bring first fruitful results of the implementation of the development plan and by the end of 2022 Norilsk will look like a true capital of the Russian Arctic.

The Mayor of Norilsk Dmitry Karasev shared that the extent of the development project is comparable to constructing another plant in Norilsk from scratch. He also shared his contentment that the plan took into consideration the feedback from the city’s residents who submitted a myriad of proposals. Therefore, he called the development plan to be a truly people’s plan. Mr. Karasev reported on the first results of the implementation of the project which have become possible due to the four-party agreements that were signed in February 2021. He considered these agreements to be an outstanding example of public-private partnership. He confirmed that without Nornickel’s approach and contributions such an enormously ambitious plan could not have been possible to implement.

Background Information

Norilsk is the second largest city of the Krasnoyarsk Krai following its capital Krasnoyarsk. As of January 2021, its population exceeds 183.000 people with the city’s contribution to the regional budget equal to 30%.

The Comprehensive Plan for Socio-Economic Development of Norilsk that has been approved by the Russian government delineates measures aimed at developing the city. These measures include:

  • housing renovation,
  • advancement and modernisation of the city’s infrastructure and utility,
  • construction, reconstruction, development of new social infrastructure amenities,
  • shaping comfortable, safe and sustainable urban environment that would also accomplish Norniskel’s aspirations to protect Norilsk health,
  • reallocation of the residents to new more favourable and convenient locations.