MOSCOW, April 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Russia's biggest metal and mining company Norilsk Nickel, owned by Vladimir Potanin, has donated RUB10.5bn ($143mn) to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and to protect the health of its workers. The funds will provide medical equipment, medicine and personal protective gear for local healthcare facilities, Company's operating sites and employees, as well as extend additional support to employees and to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nornickel's regions of operation.
"Norilsk Nickel is dealing with this crisis with a sufficient safety margin to ensure the maximum possible protection for our workers and all residents of the cities hosting our enterprises," – said Vladimir Potanin, Norilsk Nickel president and Russia's wealthiest businessman. – "Viruses, no matter how dangerous, come and pass, but we must never lose sight of our main asset: our talented people. I have ordered additional measures to support our workers and residents in our cities. I am certain that together with our employees, the residents of our cities, as well as with the whole country, we will overcome this challenge successfully."
Nornickel will spend 3 billion rubles on medical and protective equipment, and the development of medical infrastructure in its regions of operations, which will include procurement of testing equipment and lung ventilators (ALV). Two stationary and five mobile laboratories will be deployed in Norilsk and on the Kola Peninsula. The number of beds in the infectious ward of the Norilsk hospital will be doubled and may be increased to a 1000, if needed. Efforts to strengthen hospitals capacity are also underway in Monchegorsk and the Pechenga district. A portion of the Nornickel COVID-19 funding allocation will provide support for small businesses in the regions of its operations.
In full compliance with the local regulations Nornickel has transferred its employees to remote work, with the exception of those workers, whose presence is required to ensure production and business continuity. In addition, the company retains salaries for those who do not have remote access and employees with young children who are unable to keep work schedules due to the closure of child care facilities.
Nornickel telecommunications subsidiary in Norilsk has granted the use of its own channels to mobile operators in Norilsk to provide the population with high-speed Internet connections for remote work and training.
In the Russian Far North Norilsk Nickel extended its support to local SMEs by introducing rent holidays to more than 100 of its tenants. Social entrepreneurs who previously received loans from Norilsk Nickel as part of the company's charity project have been offered payment deferrals for six months.
(MMC "Norilsk Nickel", "Nornickel" or the "Company").
MMC Norilsk Nickel is a diversified mining and metallurgical company, world's largest producer of palladium, high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper; it also produces cobalt, rhodium, silver, gold, iridium, ruthenium, selenium, tellurium, sulphur and other products.
SOURCE MMC Norilsk Nickel