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Aug 28, 2018

Oleg Belozerov: "Railways are creating the necessary conditions for the development of Russia’s fuel and energy complex"

The level of the railway tariff is not only not a deterrent to the transportation of coal, but actually stimulates the development of the Russian coal industry.

This was stated by Oleg Belozerov, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways, who was speaking at a meeting of the Commission on the Strategy for the Development of the Fuel and Energy Complex and Environmental Safety, which was chaired by the Russian President Vladimir Putin on 27 August 2018 in the Russian city of Kemerovo.

In his report, he noted that for the last three years the average weighted railway component in transporting steam coal in terms of infrastructure and traction had decreased by 10 percentage points and in transporting coking coal by 6 percentage points.

"Taking into account the decision of the Russian Government with regard to the transition to long-term tariff regulation in the field of freight rail transportation, it can be said that favourable conditions will continue for a long time," said Oleg Belozerov.

According to Belozerov, the uninterrupted transportation of fuel and oil products requires the rapid development of the railway infrastructure and the improvement of the transportation process.

"The transportation of the freight produced by the fuel and energy complex is one of the most important components of our work. Such freight accounts for nearly half of the volume of the total loading on Russia’s railways and provides about 60% of the gross turnover. I would like to thank the companies in the fuel and energy complex for providing such a reliable basis for the freight side of OJSC Russian Railways. The increase in coal loading just this year alone is estimated at 4.5% compared to 2017," said Oleg Belozerov.

Belozerov went on to recall that in 2012, the project to modernise the Baikal-Amur Main Line (BAM) and the Trans-Siberian was launched.

The first stage will be completed in 2019 and will enable the transportation of freight in the amount of 124.9 million tons from the main fields in Eastern Russia, an increase of 66.8 million tons compared to 2012.

Taking into account the growth in traffic volumes and the expected figures going forward, the next stage in the programme for the development of Eastern Russia’s railway infrastructure envisages the coal shipments towards the Eastern of some 195 million tons in 2025.

The implementation of this project will also make it possible to increase further the volume of containerised freight transportation between East and West.

The volume of investment to 2025 will amount to 696 billion roubles.

In order to ensure that the latest advances are incorporated into the development of the infrastructure, 3.4 billion roubles were allocated to the design in 2018.

At the same time, the head of OJSC Russian Railways stressed that the Company is systematically developing the whole rail network, not just the rapidly growing region in Eastern Russia.

All the key transportation directions are being modernised – to the ports of the Azov-Black Sea basin, to Russia’s North-West and several other important routes.

Russian Railways has worked out a Long-Term Development Programme which provides for the Company to invest 7.1 trillion roubles between 2018-2025 in the development and upgrading of infrastructure for the shipment of all kinds of freight, including fuel and energy products.

"Appropriate financial sources are necessary for the implementation of the approved programme. From our point of view, it is optimal to use internal funding from our own profits because for each rouble we invest, we can attract three roubles in borrowed funds and invest them in developing the infrastructure. In order to maximise our own profits for investment purposes, we propose paying dividends only on preference shares and direct the profit to investment projects approved by the Government of the Russian Federation," said Oleg Belozerov.

According to Belozerov, this decision will produce a multiplicative effect on the Russia’s economy.

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