The head and co-owner of the Norilsk Nickel mining and metallurgical company, Vladimir Potanin, became the first businessman in Russia whose fortune reached $30 billion, according to the Forbes Real Time rating dated February 16.
The burden to pay off: will Norilsk Nickel pay 146 billion for environmental damage
The decision to recover this amount from the company speaks of a new environmental orientation in judicial practice, experts say.
Currently, Potanin’s fortune is estimated at $30.1 billion, which is an absolute record for the Russian Forbes list.
The publication emphasizes that the reason for this was the growth of Norilsk Nickel stock quotes. So, the night before they were trading at the level of 26,290 rubles/piece, while on February 1 this figure was at the level of 24,866 rubles/piece, and on December 30 – 23,682 rubles/piece.
It is also noted that the growth of the company’s shares could not be affected by the decision of the Arbitration Court of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, according to which Norilsk Nickel is obliged to pay 146 billion rubles for environmental damage caused by an accident at a thermal power plant in Norilsk.
At the end of May 2020, a diesel fuel storage tank was depressurized at CHPP-3, which spilled more than 20,000 tons of fuel. It ended up in the Ambarnaya and Daldykan rivers. A state of emergency at the federal level was declared in the area of the incident, and the liquidation of the accident began.
Law enforcement agencies initiated cases on violation of environmental protection rules in the course of work (Article 246 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), damage to the land (Part 1 of Article 254 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and water pollution (Article 250 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), they are combined into one proceeding. Norilsk Mayor Rinat Akhmetchin, who resigned on June 20, became the defendant in the negligence case.
Rosprirodnadzor estimated environmental damage from the accident at 148 billion rubles. Norilsk Nickel confirmed its obligation to eliminate the consequences of the emergency at its own expense, but stated that it considers this amount to be incorrect, since, according to the company’s management, the department had incorrectly calculated the damage.