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WWF: Gas chemical project in Pechora delta carries high environmental risks

15 december 2021
A gas chemical project of RUSKHIM holding is planned in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, which carries high environmental risks. WWF-Russia insists on holding public discussions on the environmental impact assessment of this project to the highest environmental safety standards

The Kumzhinskoye and Korovinskoye fields, which are to become the resource base for the project, are located in the heart of the Pechora delta, adjacent to the southern border of the Nenetsky nature reserve and between two sections of the Nizhnepechorsky nature reserve.

According to the best Russian and international standards for environmental impact assessment (EIA), such complex infrastructure projects should go through the procedure as an integrated project, which should include all components - drilling sites, processing plants and transport infrastructure.

It is also necessary to ensure the involvement of stakeholders at the earliest stage, that is, from the stage of the terms of reference for the EIA. Only following these approaches can provide a full assessment of the likely environmental and social risks.

«Experts of WWF-Russia contacted RUSKHIM this spring with a proposal to participate in the EIA procedure from the earliest stage, but our offer was ignored, – comments Alexei Knizhnikov, head of WWF-Russia’s environmental responsibility program. a ready-made draft EIA has been submitted for public discussion, and only for one object - well drilling.We will insist on a radical revision of the approaches to organizing public discussions of the EIA of this project and will send our requirements not only to RUSKHIM, but also to the governor of the NAO, to Rosprirodnadzor and the Development Corporation The Far East and the Arctic, which gives preferences to this project».
«The Pechora River is already expiriencing a powerful negative pressure from industrial development in the Komi Republic, the new project will only increase the negative impact on river ecosystems. This will lead to new threats to aquatic biological resources. When discussing the EIA of this project, it is necessary to take into account the basin approach, involve public organizations and local residents in the discussions, not only living near the Pechora River in the Nenets Okrug, but also in the Komi Republic. WWF-Russia also plans to initiate a public environmental review of this project», – says Sergei Uvarov, coordinator of WWF-Russia projects in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug.
Nenets reserve
(с) Yulia Leonova

RUSKHIM holding project:

This is a project for the extraction of gas condensate and the construction of a methanol plant. RUSKHIM is a vertically integrated holding, which includes two companies: RUSKHIM GAZ LLC and RUSKHIM KOM. RUSKHIM GAZ will develop the field and build infrastructure for gas transportation. RUSKHIM COM will build a methanol plant and port infrastructure. At the first stage, it is planned to equip 6 well pads with 32 wells and communication corridors (roads, gas pipelines and high-voltage lines) between them.