15 July 2019 – En+ Group (the “Company”, “the Group” or “En+ Group”), (LSE: ENPL; MOEX: ENPL), a leading international vertically integrated aluminium and power producer, has partnered with Russia’s leading universities on a scientific expedition to understand the factors affecting the ecosystem around Lake Baikal. The project is part of the Group’s comprehensive plan to ensure the world’s largest freshwater reservoir is managed sustainably by all stakeholders. Implementation of the overall program has been underway since 2011. The expedition will include the most detailed investigation to date into the impact of plastics on the lake’s freshwater environment.
With coordination from En+ Group, a team of researchers from Lomonosov Moscow State University, the Siberian Federal University, and the Russian Academy of Sciences will spend three months, July to September, studying human impacts on the lake’s ecosystem. Research from the expedition will inform the strategies of En+ Group’s local operations.
The expedition researchers will focus on four key issues facing the lake ecosystem. Building upon surface level studies from 2017, they will examine micro-plastics currently present in the lake water. They will also analyze the content of heavy metals, toxins, and biogenic elements in ecosystem. In addition, they will also seek to understand the cause of increased algal blooming, an important indication of changing pollution levels, and will investigate the origins of a disease affecting Baikal’s endemic sponges.
Based on the findings, the Group also aims to establish a round table of businesses, government agencies and NGOs to agree a set of meaningful and measurable policies for sustainably managing the lake and its surrounding ecosystem.
The Group anticipates initial findings will be published this autumn with a more detailed report released in December.
Vladimir Kirukhin, Chief Executive Officer of En+ Group, said:
“Baikal is unique and, with most of En+ Group’s assets located in East Siberia, it is our duty to develop the region responsibly and safeguard this most important of habitats. Our comprehensive Baikal preservation program will bring all stakeholders together to agree meaningful actions which will protect the unique environment for generations to come.”