The company announced last Friday it had reached an agreement with local authorities in Murmansk to start construction next year of a new export port for coal. SDS-Ugol operates coal mines in the Kuzbass region in southwestern Siberia.
A new coal harbor on the western side of the Kola bay has been on the drawing table for many years, but with the recent agreement construction is set to start next summer and last for two years. Murmansk already has one huge coal export harbor located near the city center causing dust and noise. A new harbor on the other side of the bay will come in an uninhabited area.
SDS-Ugol is a well-known player in the port of Murmansk. Late last year BarentsObserver reported about the company’s 63,5 percent acquisition of the shares in the Russian Arctic port. With the shares, the company secured full control of the existing maritime hub. Coal is transported by railroad from Siberia to Murmansk.
Reuters is quoting industry insiders saying shipping coal through seaports in Murmansk remains economically viable, despite sluggish coal markets which have seen prices dip to a level that many miners say is already below their production coasts.