Russia’s Nornickel says it will pay for clean-up after fuel spill

The company expected the costs to come to 10 billion rubles or about $145 million.

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Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel will fully finance the clean-up operation after a major fuel spill in the Arctic and sees it costing around 10 billion rubles ($145 million), the company’s president, Vladimir Potanin, said on Friday.

A fuel tank at a power station in the city of Norilsk, built around Nornickel’s main production assets, lost pressure on May 29 and leaked 15,000 tonnes of fuel and lubricants into the river system and an additional 6,000 into the subsoil.

In the TV address aired on Thursday, Putin expressed his shock at finding out that local authorities had only learned of the incident from social media two days after it happened.

The state environment watchdog said the river and the surrounding subsoil had been severely affected. The state fisheries agency says the river will need decades to recover.

Putin said he supported a proposal to declare a national state of emergency in the area as it would help the clean-up.

(Production: Anastasia Adasheva, Dmitry Turlyun)