MOSCOW, September 26 (Itar-Tass) - Coal still remains the most important and most promising source of energy on the earth: the global oil reserves will last for 40 years, natural gas - for 60 years or more, and coal reserves will last for at least 270 years, the Russian government’s Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper reports.
Today, the coal industry’s share in the world is 40%, in China and India - 70-80%, in the United States - about 40%, in Germany - about 50%. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), in the next 20-25 years, coal will remain the second most important fuel and energy source after oil. The IEA notes that in the conditions of the current consumption policy, the demand for coal by 2035 could grow by 70% with taking into account the widening of the range of coal use technologies.
Russia today has all the resources and capabilities to become one of the key growth drivers in the coal sector and strengthen its positions of the world coal market.
“This industry is not only traditional for our country, it is also promising and important for the Russian economy and it will continue for years to come. We should think about how to develop it, how to provide jobs, how to make it more profitable and more competitive,” the newspaper quotes Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Today, the Russian coal industry accounts for 354 million tons of production (2012), 132 million tons of coal export, 165,000 jobs and 500,000 jobs in related industries, as well as for about 54 billion rubles of taxes and social expenditures each year.
Russian coal companies are ready to compete in the global and domestic energy markets. According to Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky, coal companies in 2012 invested in development 116.9 billion rubles, which is 17.5 percent more than in 2011.
The main coal-producing region in the country remains Kuzbass, which has attained the level of annual production of 200 million tons of coal - producing about 60 percent of all Russian coal. About 40 million tons of coal is annually mined in the Krasnoyarsk Krai, which has large reserves of cheap open-pit coal. In essence, all regions of Siberia and the Far East of Russian from the Kemerovo Oblast to Sakhalin are coal mining areas.
The social role of the country’s coal industry is also important. Coal enterprises are the main employers for more than 30 cities and towns with the total population of more than 1.5 million.
Coal brings into the country $13 billion annually and remains the fifth basic export product after oil, petroleum products, natural gas and ferrous metals. And if Russia has a large share on the European market (32%), then its share in the fast-growing market of the Asia-Pacific Region (APR) is still small - less than 5%. So the growth towards the Asia-Pacific is possible.