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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Norilsk Denies Closure

MOSCOW -- Russia's metals giant Norilsk Nickel denied a report Monday that it would close Pechenganickel, one of its polluting plants next door to Norway, but conceded that a corporate restructuring plan included a review of operations at the plant.

A Norilsk official, Anatoly Komrakov, shot down a Russian news agency report that Pechenganickel would be closed outright. "There are no plans to close Pechenganickel," he said, responding to a report earlier in the day by Itar-Tass that the plant would be closed.

Pechenganickel, the Achilles' heel of the Norilsk group, is one of Russia's best-known environmental polluters and a drag on Norilsk's balance sheet. Norway had once hoped for a deal with Russia to reconstruct the plant and clean up its sulphur dioxide emissions, which are twice Norway's total annual levels.