• 2017 June 13

    Irina Olkhovskaya: “Russia’s share in global coal market has shown insignificant increase”

    Irina Olkhovskaya, First Deputy Director and Commercial Director of Port Management Company LLC,  tells IAA PortNews about the situation in Russian and international coal market and covers the challenges of coal delivery to sea terminals.

    - Ms Olkhovskaya, what is your opinion about the situation with coal exports from Russia?

    - Steady decline of coal consumption in Russia seen from 2011 (with exception of 2015) has lead to exports growth. In 2016, exports almost reached the level of domestic consumption (167 mln t – internal market, 165 mln t - exports). In 2010, exports made 39% of total coal supplies, today it makes almost 50%.

    In the same period, global coal market grew by 21% (2016 vs 2010) and exceeded 1.3 bln t.

    Despite the stable growth of coal exports from Russia in 2010-2016, the share of Russian coal in the global coal market has shown an insignificant increase making about 11-12%. 

    - Are there any changes in exports geography?

    - Yes, the reporting period has seen a steady growth of exports in the Far East region which exceeded that of the North-West region in 2014. In 2016, Far East exports were higher by 21.3 mln t. As compared with 2012, coal transportation towards seaports of the Far East totaled 31.7 mln t in 2016 while coal transportation towards the North-West ports fell by 1.9 mln t.

    The largest dedicated coal terminal in Russia is Vostochny Port. Implementation of an ambitious project on construction of the terminal’s Phase 3 and development of Nakhodka-Vostochanay station will let the terminal export up to 39 mln t of coal per year.

    Despite general reduction of coal exports via the North-West region, transportation to Rosterminalugol is growing from year to year. In 2016, Rosterminalugol JSC accepted 18.1 mln t of coal. In 2016, the increase of coal transshipment via dedicated facilities of Rosterminalugol was as high as 4.3 mln t versus the year of 2012.

    - Far East exports are growing very fast, does it cause any problems with logistics?

    - The current system of correlation with the plans of Russian Railways encourages diversification of coal flows to boost transshipment of coal via non-dedicated terminals.

    Amid systematic growth of demand for coal transportation towards the Far East and limited throughput capacity, it is necessary to develop a new system for Russian Railways’ planning, I believe, to select reasonable directions of loading with the minimum turnaround of open-top wagons. That would guarantee the increase of earnings from bulk cargo transportation without extra investments and will let export more cargo.

    Interviewed by Vitaly Chernov