LENINSK-KUZNETSKY, August 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia could quintuple coal production by 2030, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting on the development of the coal industry on Monday, August 6.
“There is the possibility to increase this indicator five times by 2030,” Medvedev said. “The question is how to do it, whether it should be done at all and how the accents should be placed.”
At the same time, he stressed that safety in the cola industry remained a priority task.
“I cannot but touch upon safety: improving safety in coal production is of strategic priority,” the prime minister said and commended “the project to extract methane from coal formations” that was launched during his previous visit to the Kemerovo region.
“There are a number of problems in the coal industry: wear and tear of fixed assets, but the main question is that the railway cannot meet the coal industry’s needs in full. Another problem is the environmental impact of enterprises,” Medvedev said.
“A key question is modernisation of infrastructure in the region. Companies must be encouraged to upgrade and improve processing technologies. This is a more important area of work than volumes,” he said.
Medvedev stressed the need to increase coal production in Eastern Siberia and the Far East. “This will help solve a large number of economic and social problems,” he said.
Russia plans to produce 430 million tonnes of coal in 2030, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said at the meeting.
Coal production will increase to 380 million tonnes by 2020 and by another 50 million tonnes by 2030. “Production has been growing steadily since 1998,” the minister said.
Novak also noted the growth of coal export.
Russia exported 79 million tonnes of coal to the Atlantic market in 2011 and 32 million tonnes to the Asia-Pacific region.
At the same time, the ministry expects export to grow but its structure to change.
“We expect a growth of 6 million tonnes to the Atlantic market, while the bulk of the demand will be in the Asia-Pacific region,” the minister said.
He cited McKinsey experts as saying that demand for coal would grow until 2050. According to Novak, the main consumers will be China, South Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.