Opinions

2018 May 31

(Oleg Belozerov, President, Russian Railways - On prospects of coal transportation )

– Coal makes the bulk of cargo we transport. It accounts for almost 28% of total loading on our network and for some 40% in total cargo turnover. We see intense development of the industry. Despite improvement of the production process and involvement of other sources of energy, coal consumption continues to grow meaning that our forecasts and investments in the development of key export directions have been justified. When developing our long-term programme we were basing on global forecasts and expert opinions as well as on specific numbers foreseen by Russian manufacturers.

Last year, we carried 359 million tonnes of coal. That was a historic record. By 2025, we expect to increase this result to 500 million tonnes, that is a huge growth we plan. Through increasing our internal efficiency we have come to a conclusion that coal transportation is profitable for us, in general. We think it is not good to set limits for our manufacturers. There are certain bottlenecks, sometimes not those of Russian Railways. Ports are often limited in capacity. Therefore, we develop new directions. We have started transporting coal via Finland, Kaliningrad, Poland. The geography is expanding. We count on the development of the port of Murmansk. Most of the Far East ports accept coal today.

A week ago we were discussing the project of the Northern Latitudinal Railway. We are considering the opportunities of this new direction. Perhaps, we will carry some coal via Azerbaijan and Georgia to Turkey. The railway’s economic scheme allows for carrying cargo to longer distances today, so we are looking into overland transportation not only via ports.

From the interview of Russian Railways head with RIA Novosti.