Railroad Minister comments on efficiency of coal delivery

Coal delivery is efficient at the distance of under 1,100 kilometers,Russian Railroad Minister Gennady Fadeyev stated at the meeting of theboard of the State Council of Russia today. The participants of the meetingdiscussed the development of the coal industry. According to the Minister,only 58 percent of the total amount of coal is delivered efficiently.Fadeyev believes that the program for the development of the coal industryshould clearly specify not only the volume of coal consumption but also itsoptimized connection to coal deposits from the viewpoint of transportfactor, as well as the heat power industry."Looking at the world trends, we are optimistic about the development ofthe coal potential of the country", the Minister pointed out. According tohis data, US railroads deliver three times the volume of coal delivered byRussian railroads every year. The share of coal delivery is 45 percent ofall deliveries in the USA. Fadeyev pointed out that the basis for this was"the dominating role of coal in the energy balance of the USA".In Russia, this share is about 25 percent; a dynamic growth is going on,the Minister stressed. According to him, in the past three years, thevolume of coal delivery gained 44 million tons and will reach 250 milliontons this year. The highest pace of coal shipping is at the Kuznetskcoalfield. According to the Railroad Ministry's estimates, this year coalshipping will be 140 million tons in this region (60 percent of shipping inRussia), which is 3 percent more than the level of 1991.The Minister also pointed out that the volume of export coal deliveryincreased by 70 percent in the past five years and reached 42 million tonsin 2001. In the first half of 2002, the growth was 19 percent. This wasreached due to setting a fixed exemption tariff for export deliveries,which provided the competitiveness of Russian coal on the foreign market,the Minister stressed..

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