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Norilsk Nickel acknowledges the need to increase the efficiency of public-private partnerships

12 september 2023

According to Andrey Grachev, Vice President for Federal and Regional Programs of PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel, the public-private partnership mechanism is important for sustainable development goals. He spoke at a thematic session of the Eastern Economic Forum on the topic of “Sustainable development of small and medium-sized cities: developing cooperation between business and the state.”

The total amount of Norilsk Nickel's expenses on social programs, social infrastructure and charity in 2022 amounted to 48.5 billion rubles, Grachev added. “Sustainable development in our understanding is a balance between production goals, ecology and the social sphere. We pay great attention to the sustainable development of territories,” he said. The company's absolute priority, he said, is creating a comfortable environment, educational opportunities, providing medical care and clean air.

The Norilsk Nickel representative believes that public-private partnership is a universal tool in this regard. “We have concluded an agreement with the Government of the Russian Federation, the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the city of Norilsk on the implementation of the Norilsk renovation program until 2035. Its total budget is 120 billion rubles, of which 81.3 billion is the company’s money. The program is quite broad, covering the construction of housing and new social infrastructure - houses, schools, cultural facilities,” said Andrey Grachev.

Norilsk Nickel considers environmental safety as the most important factor of development, Andrey Grachev emphasized. “In this regard, a number of projects are being implemented, including the unique Sulfur Program, which involves reducing emissions for the current and next year by 45% - 47%. The first part of the program has already begun. Commissioning is underway. There are only a few weeks left before the program takes off. We hope that in October, depending on the results of the preparatory work, we will launch it.”

Andrey Grachev elaborated on the experience of implementing the company’s projects in the field of public-private partnership. “It's wide enough. We have repaired the runway of Norilsk airport. We ensured that the Internet in Norilsk was no worse than in Moscow - for this we installed 1000 km of optical fiber, the project budget amounted to 2.5 billion rubles. We opened 2 medical institutions - in Dudinka and Norilsk, and we will continue the corporate medicine program in the future. Investing in people, in their health, in human capital is probably the most important principle. We are planning to reconstruct the campus of the Norilsk Industrial Institute, which in 2021 was renamed the Polar State University. The cost of this program is 3 billion rubles. It is very important for us that people study at our university.”

Public-private partnership is a two-way road, Andrei Grachev recalled. He proposed removing barriers to the investment tax deduction mechanism for companies for creating social infrastructure. Today, the condition for this deduction is the transfer the object to the state free of charge, however, due to high operating costs, municipalities are not interested in taking such facilities on their books, the top manager explained. “For example, we built the Aika sports complex in Norilsk - the largest complex in the Arctic zone worth 3.6 billion. We spend 60 million rubles on maintenance, and taxes amounted to 120 million.”

The importance of efficient interaction between businesses and the state was noted during the Eastern Economic Forum by Dmitry Pristanskov, State Secretary and Vice President of PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel.

“Now Norilsk Nickel is not just a mining and metallurgical leader, it is a high-tech company. We have digitized all processes - management, logistics, mining, processing, etc. This is directly related to interaction with the state as a regulator and serves as an efficient way to exchange information.”

According to him, in the digital sphere it is important not to lose momentum and not fall into “digital bureaucracy” with the increase in digital procedures and interaction tools that begin to duplicate each other. “It’s not just digitization that’s important. Thanks to digitalization, added value should appear,” says the top manager. As an example, he noted the high-quality work of the public services portal. “We expect as many regulatory bodies as possible to introduce a digital signature in their areas of responsibility . This will make it easy to ensure paperless interaction with authorities when performing legally significant actions,” said Dmitry Pristanskov.

Vice-President, Head of the Trans-Baikal Division of PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel Alexander Popov spoke at the thematic session named “Towards a common future: what social and cultural business initiatives the Far East awaits?”. He noted that at the end of last year the company was among the top leaders in corporate charity.

He spoke about Norilsk Nickel’s grant project “World of New Opportunities.” “In our work, we first of all rely on concerned individuals who are interested in implementing their projects. Experts evaluate them from the point of view of elaboration and social significance. We provide methodological support, help to “package” it correctly, hold a competition, and provide comprehensive support.”

During the session “Personnel for the industry of the Far East: system and prospects,” Alexander Popov noted that personnel turnover in the Trans-Baikal division of the company is only about 5 percent. “And this is on a rotational basis. Uniform standards have been introduced - on salaries, working and living conditions, and medicine. But the main thing is the corporate culture and attitude towards employees. Our task is to find points of interest for everyone - sports, creativity, volunteer activities. What is important for people is involvement, social activity, and the opportunity to do something for their region and its ecology.”

Alexander Popov noted that in the Trans-Baikal Territory, the company supports such events as the Trans-Baikal International Film Festival, the Oleg Lundstrem Russian Jazz Festival, and starting this year, together with the League of Mothers, it is implementing the “Fast Sports” project, in which up to 60.000 children from Transbaikal region take part.

Speaking about environmental initiatives, Alexander Popov noted that thanks to an agreement with the RusHydro corporation, Bystrinsky mining and processing plant increased the share of renewable energy consumption from 5% to 34%. “We conducted an audit and looked at what we can do for current environmental decisions and in the long term. We realized that now there is an opportunity to reduce the negative impact on the environment. In future, we will look into capabilities of solar energy,” said the top manager.