8 Dec 2022 15:45

Nornickel investments to increase twofold in 2022, topping 250 bln rubles - executive

ST. PETERSBURG. Dec 8 (Interfax) - Nornickel will invest over 250 billion rubles in 2022, a twofold increase over the previous year, Sergei Dubovitsky, Senior Vice President for Strategy, Strategic Projects, Logistics & Procurement, told reporters on the sidelines of the XII "Arctic: the Present and the Future" International Forum " in St. Petersburg. The company needs to increase its number of icebreakers in order to import cargo as part of the growing investment program and to ensure metal shipments to China.

"The level of investment will increase twofold. We're looking at more than 250 billion rubles in annual investments this year," he said.

In H1, Nornickel's capital investments totaled $1.8 billion, up 83% year-on-year. Planned growth is due to investments into key environmental and mining and metallurgical projects, as well as repairs aimed at improving industrial safety, the company said.

Implementation of the development plans adopted several years ago remains a priority for Nornickel, Dubovitsky said. In order to do so, it is important to ensure a significantly larger load on the Northern Sea Route (NSR), which is used to deliver project cargoes - in particular, as part of the Norilsk development program.

"To date, we have already increased cargo flow on the NSR by 0.5 million tons. During the previous navigation period the volume of cargoes handled increased by 75%," he said. In addition to its five dry cargo ships, Nornickel employed up to 10 other ships.

In addition to supplying the Norilsk industrial region, the NSR is a priority for Nornickel as a way to ship products to Asian markets.

"In the new realities we are testing new routes. This summer, we created a pilot commercial route for delivery of our products to China," he said.

"Today it is extremely important for us to provide new transportation capacities with icebreaker escort. Historically we employed 1 icebreaker, while today there are 3 icebreakers working in our area," the executive said.

In particular, Nornickel plans to sign an agreement with Rosatom on the lease of the icebreaker "Siberia" through 2041 with the option to extend through 2051, Dubovitsky said.