CIL, Russian company in talks for import of coking coal

09 December 2019

Coal India (CIL) is in talks with Russian coal company Vostok-Coal-Diskon to participate in the extraction of coking coal and its imports from mines in the Siberian districts of Russia, Coal India executives said.

VostokCoal-Diskon is developing coal extraction facilities at the Taimyr coal basin of Taymyr Peninsula in central Siberia. It has been exploring the area since 2016 and has recently opened two deposits that would touch a peak capacity of 30 million tonnes a year.

VostokCoal will build a coal terminal and create a specialised fleet for exporting coal round the year. Plans include bringing the coal home through the relatively new, Northern Sea Route, which connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean along the icy Russian coast of Siberia and the Russian Far East, through the Bering Strait near Alaska crossing five Arctic seas.

“The Indian government is in dialogue with Russia for importing coking coal and participate in its production,” a senior Coal India executive said. “As part of this dialogue, and as a coal-producing company, we are in dialogues with VostokCoal and would either import or participate in coal production as directed by the Centre.”

As a first step, Coal India signed MoUs with two Russian entities in September. The first was with Far Eastern Agency for Attracting Investments and Supporting Exports, for cooperation in mining coking coal in the Russian Far East and Arctic Region. The second MoU was between Coal India and Eastern Mining Company for exploring, identifying, sourcing, negotiating and consummating mutually beneficial investment opportunities in mining in the Russian Far East.