On May 29, 2020, an accidental damage to a diesel fuel storage tank resulted in a leak of 21,000 of fuel at Heat and Power Plant 3 (HPP-3) in the Kayerkan neighborhood of the city of Norilsk. The accident was caused by a sudden sinking of supporting posts in the basement of the storage tank. The HPP-3 is located in a remote area, no local community has been impacted. HHP-3 is operated by Norilsk Nickel’s subsidiary, Norilsk-Taymyr Energy Company (NTEC).
Diesel leaked into the 60km long Ambarnaya River which flows into Lake Pyasino. The Pyasina River outflows this lake into the Kara Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean.
Marine rescuers from Murmansk were flown into Norilsk to help mitigate consequences of the ecological catastrophe. Gazprom Neft sent a mobile emergency rescue team 70 rescue professionals and specialists from Khanty-Mansiysk, Megion, Noyabrsk and St Petersburg to help in emergency response following the major oil spill.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a state of emergency and criticized a subsidiary of metals giant Norilsk Nickel as the company failed to timely report the incident. Krasnoyarsk region governor Alexander said he only “learned of the real situation” after “alarming information appeared in social media.”
Norilsk Nickel is a diversified mining and metallurgical company, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade metal nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper. The company also produces cobalt, rhodium, silver, gold, iridium, ruthenium, selenium, tellurium, sulphur and other products.
The company’s production units are located located in the Norilsk-Talnakh area near the Yenisei River, in northern Russia
(Source: Siberian Time/The Moscow Times/Norilsk Nickel – Image:Norilsk Nickel)