How did first inhabitants see Norilsk future?

How did first inhabitants see Norilsk future?

October 29, 2023

History has preserved an interesting manuscript - in the 1940s it was written by the Norilsk combine’s design office head Alexander Sharoiko.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The manuscript contained a fragment dedicated to the future of the city: how the chief designer saw it when Norilsk was just being founded.

“Norilsk is the first industrial center of the Arctic. From it, like a spark, the flame of the Taimyr peninsula large industry flares up… But in order to industrialize the Taimyr peninsula and put it at the service of the socialist Motherland, it is necessary to connect it with the central part of the Soviet Union. To this end, research has been underway for several years to create the Northern Trans-Siberian Railway. The railway from the Vorkuta region will go east, cross the Yenisey near Turuhansk, then go along the valley of the Lower Tunguska river… reach Ohotsk and Magadan. This will be the greatest Northern Trans-Siberian route. From there, in the Turuhansk area, it is planned to lay a branch north to Norilsk. There will be a complete reconstruction of shipping on the Yenisey, the creation of large mechanized ports at the points of departure (Krasnoyarsk, Yeniseysk), where the railway will pass. The Dudinka port should become a large seaport with the most modern mechanization.

Based on the instructions of Stalin to create a powerful industry in the country, large coal plants will be created on the Taimyr peninsula. In the area of the Kayerkan deposit, construction of a coal plant has already begun, which will annually export two million tons of coal through the Dudinka port. At the same time, research is underway to create the world’s northernmost coal plant at the mouth of the Pyasina, which will export coal through Makarov bay to the northern ports of the European part of the Soviet Union, and possibly to Sweden and Norway.

The Norilsk combine is located near lake Pyasino, from which the Pyasina river flows. At the source of the river there is a rocky ridge. It is planned to build a large dam with a height of more than 20 meters here and raise the water level in the lake in order to build a hydroelectric power station. Lake Pyasino will spread over a huge area, its length and width will be about 130 kilometers, its waters will approach Norilsk. The new Norilsk sea will be many times larger than the Moscow sea and will not be inferior to the Rybinsk reservoir. It will be one of the greatest artificial reservoirs in the world.

One of the largest construction projects of Stalin’s fourth five-year plan will be the Turuhansk ferrous metallurgy plant. Ore reserves are already being explored. They are very large and will make it possible to build a plant with a capacity of more than a million tons per year. It is planned to create a large coke plant in the Imangda area, which will supply the Turuhansk metallurgical plant with coke along the Norilsk-Turuhansk line.

But, surpassing all the construction projects in Taimyr, the pioneer of polar industrialization – Norilsk – will especially grow and flourish in the next decade… The Norilsk residents’ life will change the most. A city will grow near the plant. There will be a large number of comfortable apartments, a large city theater, two stadiums, a park of culture and recreation, dozens of nurseries, schools, a polytechnic, a hospital, maternity hospitals, clinics and so on. By the end of the five-year plan, the city’s population will exceed 100 thousand people, and by the end of the decade at least 150 thousand will live in Norilsk. In the next three years, the combine’s industrial sites will be connected to the city by tram. A number of bus lines are now operating. The construction of four-, five- and six-story buildings is planned and is already underway on the main streets of the city. The entire city is being heated. Cooking in all houses without exception will be gasified. The city will receive gas from a large coke plant being built in Norilsk. All city streets will be asphalted. In five years, the streets of the polar city will be completely flooded with light, electricity from the Pyasinskaya hydroelectric station will be extremely cheap…

The Norilsk combine, together with the whole country, is following the broad roads of Stalin’s fourth five-year plan, and what seems like a dream today will become reality tomorrow.”

In the History Spot photo project’s previous publication, we talked about how Norilsk waitresses “saved” geophysicists.

Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

October 29, 2023

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