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HomeLatest NewsFocus on Russia: how Norilsk Nickel is building a new investment policy

Focus on Russia: how Norilsk Nickel is building a new investment policy

Date: May 31, 2023 Time: 06:13:12

Photo: Norilsk Nickel Press Service

There were worse moments, but there were not happier ones. Approximately this is how it is possible to define the current period of the Russian economy, forced to survive under the yoke of harsh Western sanctions. Almost all the business of the past 2022, on the one hand, has adapted to the new conditions: prices, logistics, partnerships, etc. On the other hand, reality has identified an obvious objective: it is necessary to develop the internal market and relations with friendly countries. Norilsk Nickel, as one of the largest companies in Russia, is already following its intended course, refusing to expand into other markets for some start-ups, including those in the West.

– Now the process of breaking the rules is underway, – emphasized the head of the company, Vladimir Potanin, in an interview. – We have entered a period where we just need to learn to endure and live with these difficulties, working to overcome them. At the same time, we must be in good shape, as a country, as an individual company, to reach that shore, on which we will build new rules for relations with all other countries and with each other.


Over the past year, logistics chains, complex settlements, and the slowdown and complexity of all these processes led to a significant increase in Norilsk Nickel’s working capital.

By the way, the company’s net working capital generally remained below the $1 billion level, at the end of 2021 it amounted to $1.27 billion and in the first half of 2022 it grew to $3.8 thousand. million due to an increase in inventories of steel products. , materials and spare parts, as well as a significant increase in ruble prices. We all remember the jumps of the dollar (above 100 rubles) last spring.

“Now the company has to postpone many projects, which is due to the need for redesign, in search of new equipment due to the refusal of Western customers to supply it,” Potanin said. – Naturally, we find ways out of this situation: we are restructuring supply chains for more friendly countries, in particular, Morocco, Turkey, other Arab countries, China, first of all. This does not directly affect the life of the company, its survival, but, of course, limits its capabilities, including financial ones, including the development of those traditional markets in which it was: it is more difficult to maintain them, and it is expensive to conquer new ones. This is what everyone has to do.

It is important to note that the import substitution process is underway. Already in October last year, the press service of Norilsk Nickel reported on new logistics schemes and alternative channels for the supply of spare parts.

– At the same time, an important task in the medium term is the search for new suppliers of high-performance mining equipment to replace the existing fleet, – said the then production director Sergey Stepanov. – In the near future, we plan to start testing new mining equipment received from manufacturers in friendly countries.


The head of Norilsk Nickel noted that investment policy is being reconfigured. An even greater emphasis is placed on Russia, and new opportunities are sought in friendly jurisdictions.

“The entire paradigm of our business, which was even more tied to participation in international product and technology chains, is now being reoriented towards national history with an attempt to involve friendly countries, partners and companies in this,” Vladimir explained. Potanin.

At the same time, according to the head of the company, domestic resources are sufficient. However, to develop them, we need conscious and determined state support for certain industries and certain projects. The current mainstream is strengthening the domestic investment climate.

– It is imperative to attract partners from friendly countries, – Vladimir Potanin is sure. – If only because all the developments that we do ourselves will be cut off from the international chains of creating intellectual property and technologies. Of course, our people are talented, but we cannot invent everything, let alone implement everything. Our economy is quite stable, but the market is small, so we definitely need to explore the markets of friendly countries to trade with them, test our developments and make them more monetizable, more commercially viable.


Developing and implementing your technologies is one of the most important business conditions. The exit of Western companies from the Russian market literally became the impetus to “pump” their own competencies.

– Norilsk Nickel and the entire industrial region are developing, will develop, we have not canceled the growth program as a strategy, – said Vladimir Potanin. – There is enough heat in the Norilsk industrial region, even excess, but we need electricity. There was a time when we wanted to replace CHP turbines with ones that produced more electricity and less steam. But our partners at the time, the Americans and the Germans, rejected us. Now we have found a way out. Norilsk Nickel is discussing, together with Rosatom, the construction of a mini nuclear power plant in Norilsk. These plants beyond the 2030 horizon will provide a larger share of electricity production relative to thermal energy.

Let me explain for reference. Rosatom is developing Low Capacity Nuclear Power Plants (LNPPs) for remote areas with undeveloped grid infrastructure, where building large power plants is impractical or logistics do not allow fuel delivery. The first ASMMs will operate on the basis of the RITM-200N reactor plant with an electrical power of 55 MW. These are successfully used on icebreakers of the Arktika type. The pilot project should be commissioned in 2030 in the Ust-Yansky region of Yakutia, where due to the weather it is difficult to organize fuel supply, but electricity is required for the development of non-ferrous and other metal deposits. minerals In addition, Rosatom already has the world’s only operating low-power floating nuclear power plant (FNPP) with two KLT-40S reactors with a total capacity of 70 megawatts. It is located in the floating power unit “Akademik Lomonosov” and moored in the port of Pevek in Chukotka. Floating nuclear power plants are designed to supply power to large industrial enterprises, port cities, oil and gas production and processing complexes on the offshore platform. They operate completely autonomously: they provide electricity and heat and store spent nuclear fuel, leaving a minimal carbon footprint. According to Rosatom, modern projects based on RITM series reactors have a high level of safety due to multi-level protection systems that prevent the possibility of an accident and exclude the release of radioactive substances into the environment. In addition, they allow reducing the emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere due to the substitution of existing generation sources.

And here is another example of the development of “your own”. It is about the software industry, in which our country also depends on Western technologies.

“We, the whole country, have taken a good path, we are forming a consortium of uniform clients who act as anchor investors, anchor clients of this type of product,” Vladimir Potanin revealed in details. – The work is coordinated by Severstal specialists. Together we are creating a new software product that would not be made immediately for a specific company, but so that it can be disseminated throughout the industry and even at an inter-industry level, which is already being done, in turn, through of IT companies. , which can be integrators of such systems, and the progress here is quite obvious. And yet, our market does not have enough capacity to recover all these developments. In addition, we know that modern IT technologies enable information sharing: the more information you get from your implementations, the better you improve your own algorithms. Therefore, it is important here not only to sell your developments, but also to receive feedback in order to improve them further. We need international allies, new markets.


Norilsk Nickel is a diversified mining and metals company and the world’s largest producer of high-quality palladium and nickel. The company also produces copper, platinum, silver, gold, cobalt, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium, selenium, tellurium, sulfur, and other products.

The production divisions of the Norilsk Nickel group of companies are located in Russia in the Norilsk industrial region, on the Kola Peninsula and in the Trans-Baikal Territory, as well as in Finland.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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