Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan today met with H.E. Mr. Leonid Petukov, CEO, Far East Russia Investment and Export Agency in New Delhi. The Russian delegation included Russian Ambassador H.E. Nikolay Kudashev, Trade Representative of Russian Federation in India, Mr. Yaroslav Tarasyuk, other senior officials from Far East Russia Investment and Export Agency. Minister of State of Steel, Secretary (Steel) along with senior representatives of Steel, Coal, and External Affairs were also present along with industry leaders from Indian steel, coal, port sectors.
Discussions centered around further developing economic linkages with Far East Russia, particularly through sourcing of metallurgical or coking coal, development of infrastructure of Far East Russia ports and connectivity of these ports with Russian mining locations, and improvements in evacuation infrastructure.
Minister Pradhan also reviewed the progress made in strengthening ties pursuant to the visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Far East Russia. Shri Pradhan said that pursuant to his visit to Moscow and Vladivostok during the last three months, in which he had met Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, H.E. Yuri Trutnev and subsequent meetings of representatives of Russian and Indian steel companies, the latter has started testing samples of coking coal from Far East Russia in their plants.
Minister Pradhan said that offtake of coal from Far East Russia can grow as the coking coal from the Far East Russia becomes more attractive from the point of view of price, ease of availability, connectivity to the ports and sea transport. He hoped that the improvements by the Russian side in developing inland as well as port logistics and rail connectivity in the Far East would go a long way in developing economic linkages with India. He also suggested the Far East Russia Investment and Export Agency indicate specific concessions that can be made to Indian importers of coking coal and to offer port facilities at preferential terms for Indian companies.
Shri Pradhan thanked the representatives from Far East Russia Investment and Export Agency for visiting India and expressed confidence that the coming months will see a significant increase in import of coking coal for the Indian steel industry from Far East Russia.
An MOU was also signed between Hindalco and the Far East Agency for offtake and investment in various minerals like copper, thermal coal etc.
India currently imports more than 50 MTPA coking coal. In view of the huge opportunity offered by Far East Russia to attract Indian investments, the Government of India earlier extended a USD 1 billion line of credit to Russia. This line of credit can be used for further economic linkages with Far East Russia, including the development of evacuation infrastructure and logistics in Far East Russia.