Nickel-tycoon Vladimir Potanin has big plan for Arctic hub Dudinka

The town of Dudinka is located on the Yenisey River. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)

A significant expansion of capacities is underway in the far northern port town of Dudinka as shipping on the northern end of the Yenisey is experiencing rapid growth.

The hike in shipping is spurred by a string of new industrial projects in the Taymyr Peninsula, several of them operated by Nornickel.

The company that is owned and managed by Vladimir Potanin now invests up to 26 billions rubles (€300 million) in the modernization of local infrastructure. That includes the new logistics center

This will positively affect the local goods delivery process, company representative Nikolai Utkin said at the opening ceremony of the new center.

“It is a new direction, a project on the digitalization of production,” he underlined.

Ulike many of Russia’s other industrial majors, Nornickel is not sanctioned by the international community, and shipments of nickel and other precious metals have continued to reach western manufacturers.

Issues of transportation are today of crucial importance, Utkin underlines.

Nornickel president Vladimir Potanin (right) with Murmansk governor Andrey Chibis. (Murmansk Government / Office of Media Relations)

“The organization and construction of efficient logistics chains has always been a priority for us, after all we are located in the periphery with complicated conditions for goods transportation and a limited period for navigation – it has required smooth and tedious work.”

Among Nornickel’s ongoing development projects in the area is the construction of a new processing plant in Talnakh, as well as a major renovation program for the city of Norilsk.

In addition, several more companies are investing in the Taymyr region.

Russian Platinum is ready to start development of its Chernogorskoye project, where production is due to start in 2024.

The company in early 2022 confirmed that it has got the financing needed for project launch. It is estimated to cost 240 billion rubles (€2,76 billion), of which 180 billion will be provided by credits from VEB.RF and VTB.

Also Rosneft is increasingly investing in the area. The company’s Vostok Oil project includes the laying of hundreds of kilometers of new pipelines, roads, working villages, as well as airports.

Several thousand tons of construction materials were shipped to construction sites along the Yenisey in the course of winter 2022. Many more thousands are to arrive over the the next years.

Many of the transport operations depend on icebreaker escort and the use of Nornickel’s infrastructure in and around Dudinka.

It is likely that Nornickel and its new logistics situation center will play an important role in process. After all, the powerful company has decades of experiences from logistics in icy waters.

Related stories from around the North:

CanadaMoney for northern housing, mining, clean energy among Canada’s federal budget highlights, CBC News

Russia: Nickel-tycoon Vladimir Potanin has big plan for Arctic hub Dudinka, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Norwegian Oil and Gas Association kicks out Russian members, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Biden closes half of NPR-A acreage in Arctic Alaska to oil drilling, Alaska Public Media.

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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