Medvedev calls for coal producers to focus on Asia-Pacific market

The Russian coal industry must focus on the Asia-Pacific market, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

The Russian coal industry must focus on the Asia-Pacific market, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

"The proposal is for a more complete reckoning with contemporary trends on various markets, particularly, what is important - not for the coal industry alone, but for it among others - paying closer attention to the Asia-Pacific market," Medvedev said at a government session on Thursday.

There also needs to be a focus on creating new industrial centers in Eastern Siberia and the Far East: such proposals are contained in the draft program for development of the sector, he said.

"Total spending to implement the programmatic measures is estimated at over 5 trillion rubles for the entire period. Among the expected results are raising the average annual coal reserve increase to 530 million tonnes," he said.

New production capacity amounting to 505 million tonnes overall will be added, and 370 million tonnes of capacity will be modernized, he said.

"Energy consumption per unit of production must be lowered 33 percent. The volume of synthetic liquid fuels production must also be increased," Medvedev said.

"It's tough for coal to compete with natural gas economically and ecologically. Nonetheless, we as a state are interested in diversifying our energy balance, in stimulating the appearance of modern and environmentally safe coal-fired power generation," he said.

Russia currently produces over 350 million tonnes of coal a year, Medvedev said.

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