Determining the Eastern vector
More than 110 projects with required amount of investment being of 2.2 billion rubles will be put forward within the framework of the second Eastern Economic Forum. Considerable part of them relate to Far East strategic industries which will define the region economy pattern in the nearest decades.
Way to enrichment
Subsoil is the most attractive investment on Far East. Here, the largest in the world crude oil and gas, helium, coal, copper, diamonds deposits are located, vast reserves of uranium phosphorites, tin, fluorspars, other ore and non-metallic minerals are concentrated. Thus, Magadan Oblast remains one of the richest regions of Russian of vein and surface gold. At that, it forges ahead across the country in silver production.
During post-Soviet time, rate of precious metal development on Kolyma diminished, including for large deposits mining. But, over the last five years the sector is on the ascent. Last year, over 1.1 thousand tons of silver was mined on Kolyma, what came out to be a high score over the entire history of subsoil management. Gradually, positions on gold get regained – this year Kolyma miners plan to extract 27 tons of metal against 24.5 tons as of 2015.
“Mineral and raw materials potential of the region allows to significantly increase gold mining volume,” says Minister for natural resources and ecology for Magadan Oblast — Vladimir Mitkyin. Primarily, this is due to development of “Pavlik” deposit which is carried out by “Pavlik” gold and ore company”, JSC incorporated in “ARLAN” investment group. In 2016, the enterprise is planning to produce about 4 tons of gold. High expectations are associated with Natalinskoye deposit which promises to become the largest gold mine in Eurasia. “Polyus” company implementing the project builds Ore processing plant which will be capable of processing up to 10 million tons ore annually.
Neighboring Yakutia is at first associated with diamond mining industry. In 2015, output of ALROSA group equaled to over 38 million carats having exceeded figures of the last period by 6%. The growth was achieved by virtue of putting into operation of Botuobinskaya pipe, increase of output in Mir and Udachnaya underground mines. The company continues developing business in the republic, for instance, now it is getting ready for development of Verkhne-Mynskoye ore deposit. As recently as last year, ALROSA invested in geological survey about 6.1 billion rubles. Conducted works allowed increasing the resource base by С1+С2 categories by 43.5 million carats, group resource portfolio then reached 1.1 billion carats.
With that, Yakutia is becoming a noticeable coal mining region. Steady growth of production —“KhK Yakutugol”, JSC (incorporated in “Mechel”, PJSC). During January-June period of 2016, 4.6 million tons of coal being of energy and coking ranks have been extracted at Neryungrinsky coal mine, over 2 million tons — at Elginskoye coal mine. Production, particularly, finds demand in countries of Asia-Pacific Region. “China remains the main market driver where an increased demand for coal was registered during the second quarter for own output contraction. PRC authorities, during current year, posted their plans to close unprofitable manufactures which in aggregate mine up to 250 million tons of coal,” says “Mechel”, PJSC Director general — Oleg Korzhov. “According to analytical agencies, one third of the volume has been already extracted. Correspondingly, substitution of unprofitable manufacture, especially with regard to coking coal, was conducted through foreign purchases. “Mechel” made use of current market environment”.
The production of “Kolmar” Coal Mining Company which as well mines coal at the south of Yakutia is in many ways aimed at markets of Asia-Pacific Region. This year, the holding opened “Inaglinskaya-1” enrichment plant. Hereafter, one more similar enterprise will be built, hence in the course of time producer suggests shipping at least 12 million tons of concentrate annually.
Construction of several mining and processing plants is scheduled in Khabarovsk Krai. In Okhotsky District, “Polymetal” is planning to put into operation new ore processing plant located at Svetloye gold ore deposit with annual capacity of 2.2 tons in the latter half of 2017. “Amur Zoloto” company is tending to build one more plant with output being of up to 2 tons of gold by the time in Ayano-Maysky District. With regard to these and other plans, extraction volume in Khabarovsk Krai shall grow up to 19 tons of gold and up to 2.5 tons of platinum by the end of 2017.
In Nanaysky District, the largest Malmyizhskoye porphyry copper-gold deposit has been discovered. Its approved reserves are 5.6 million tons of copper and 298 tons of gold. Amur Minerals Corporation constituted by American Khabarovsk Minerals, LLC has been admitted to develop strategic deposit. The Russian Federation Prime Minister — Dmitry Medvedev has signed corresponding decree in July. As reported by regional government, Americans are going to carry on exploring the deposit and in 2021 to begin its commercial development. By that time, Amur Minerals is planning to invest over 1.5 billion dollars.
Searching for foreign partners doesn’t become irrelevant even in other regions of Far Eastern Federal District. For instance, project for mining and smelting plant creation at Ozernovskoye gold ore deposit at Kamchatka Peninsula at the cost of 12.5 billion rubles is to be put forward at the Second Eastern Economic Forum. Currently, “Siberian mining and metallurgical alliance (SiGMA)”, JSC carries out geological survey at the area of Karaginsky District. The company needs a co-investor for construction of mining and smelting plant. When the mining and smelting plant gets full capacity, annual gold output at Ozernovskoye gold ore deposit will amount to 10 tons.
Processing to woodchips
Speaking of Far East natural resources, forestry shall be particularly emphasized. Allowable yield of wood in Far Eastern Federal District is at present assessed as 100 million cubic meters. Inasmuch as percentage of round wood is little by little dropping, lumber and biofuel in the years ahead will become a driver for lumber production growth. As noted by Alexander Ermolin, Minister for Natural resources for Khabarovsk Krai (more than 40% of Far Eastern Federal District lumber falls on this region), by 2020 it is planned to begin processing 5.7 million cubic meters of wood annually what exceeds previous year figure by 2.5 million of cubic meters.
RFP Group timber holding is intending to open the second plant for production of up to 230 thousand cubic meters of seasoned timber annually nearby operating one in Amursk. The company, apart from Japan and PRC, explores entry to markets of Southeast Asia, North America, and Europe. “In future, timber will find a big buyer due to the development of precast frame technology there,” says a head of “RFP Group” managing company — Konstantine Lashkevich.
Russian-Chinese woodworking plant which is being created on the basis of “Arkaim” Joint venture, LLC in Vanino promises to become a prospective project. Integrated woodworking facilities are designed to accept up to 1.5 million cubic meters of wood per year. Another large project in Khabarovsk Krai is a plant for issue of dress and nosing timber in Beryozovy settlement. It is being realized by “Azia Les” company. Volume of declared private investment into the new construction equals to 7.6 billion rubles. At that, state support is promised; its amount will equal to 850 million rubles. These means will allow building an area of motor road with a bridge over Nemelen River for raw material delivery.
The plant in Beryozovy will be capable to annually produce 330 thousand cubic meters of timber, 290 thousand cubic meters of industrial chips and 84 thousand tons of pellet fuel.
Other companies consider producibility of biofuel of semi-subsistence wood and woodworking waste. As reported by Alexander Yermolin, in the coming years, Khabarovsk Krai enterprises will be capable of producing up to 300 thousand pellets annually, both for export and for domestic market. As noted by deputy director general for “Lesprom DV”, LLC — Vladimir Korotkov, expansion of facilities for pellet production inspires the growth of heat energy consumption in the region and further increase in sawmilling volumes.
In order to actively develop natural resources normally situated in hard-to-reach areas, it is necessary to solve the issue about power supply. In order to ensure steady development of economy, electric power systems of constituent entities of Far Eastern Federal District will require over 4 GW of new capacities by 2025. On one side, demand for energy will grow up due to new consumers and existing ones’ needs expansion. On the contrary, the necessity of rising to power of facilities with operating limit comes up.
Currently, four top-priority “RusHydro” investment projects implemented together with “RAO Energy Systems of the East” are being carried out. These are the construction of Sovgavanskaya Thermal power station, the first phase of Sakhalinskaya Power station-2 and Yakutskaya Power station-2, the second phase of Blagoveschenskaya Thermal power station. State devoted 50 billion rubles for these aids within the frames of “RusHydro” capitalization support.
Emerging of large-scale industry and priority development areas require creation of corresponding network and generating infrastructure. For instance, in Magadan Oblast, the project for Omsukchansky coal cluster energy management has been announced. The construction of new power lines will allow continuing development of several open-cuts nearby Omsukchan settlement where it is planned to extract up to 3 million tons of coal annually. Aside from that, great facilities will be required in future for transloading terminal in Pestraya Dresva bay where from the fuel will go for export to Asia-Pacific region by sea.
Among others, Ust-Srednekanskaya Hydroelectric Station—Omsukchan and Omsukchan Pestraya Dresva 220kV Power lines shall raise the reliability of energy supply of Omsukchansky district (today it gets electricity by the only Orotukan – Omsukchan power line) and provide with opportunity to transport energy to Chukotka consumers. Estimated cost of works equals to more than 10 billion rubles. Project for exploration of Oroekskaya metallogenic zone implies the construction of Ust-Srednekanskaya Hydroelectric Station—Oroyek 220kV Power line. Without it, the development of lead, zink, tin, silver and copper is problematic is Srednekansky District of Kolyma, the northern part of which has no centralized electricity supply.
It shall be noted that remoteness of broad range of inhabited localities from unified energy system, complexity and high prices of energy resources transportation create certain opportunities for creation of alternative and local power supplies in Far East. In Yakutia, Kamchatka Peninsula and Sakhalin Oblast, several projects in the sphere of geothermal, solar and wind power supplies have been successfully implemented. However, full markets of alternative and local power supplies are yet not formed.
Nevertheless, modern energy-efficient technologies on the basis of renewable energy resources lower the dependence of energy-isolated areas from expensive brought fuel.
Wind farms may become first network projects for renewable energy resources at Far East in the port of Posyet and on Cape Povorotny in Primorye. New generation facilities connected to Eastern interconnection will serve not only for activity of port areas, but as well for power export to Korean Peninsula. “Mobile energy”, JSC specialists consider these areas as construction site for wind farms the total capacity of which may be up to 40 MW.
It is necessary to develop transportation system though priority rates for regional economies in Far Eastern Federal District to grow further. Luckily, there is a foundation of base infrastructure at Far East, for instance, Baikal–Amur Mainline and Trans-Siberian Railway, and its geographic position and proximity to developed countries of Asia-Pacific Region create prerequisites for International transport corridors organization what increases investment attractiveness of the industry.
Yakutia try to stay one step ahead. The reconstruction of “Vilyuy” and “Lena” federal highways is ongoing in the republic, works on “Amga”, “Kobyay”, “Umnas”, “Aldan” regional significance roads are as well in progress. Trains for development of new deposits are planned for construction. For instance, ALROSA will obtain state subsidy in the amount of 8.5 billion rubles in order to create a motor road being of 150 km long within the frames of Verkhne-Munskoye ore deposit development. This year, prefeasibility studies on selection of raw material transportation scheme from Tomtorskoye rare earth metal deposit (“Rostec” corporation takes interest in it) have been carried out. Option of route from mine sites to two port stations on Lena River was chosen in order to carry out further delivery to place of processing.
Great development touched sea ports. Transshipment facilities are getting expanded in Posyet and Vanino ports, new handling terminals in Vostochny Port are being built. Last year, 105.7 million tons of freights were sent by railway to Far East stevedores. In 2016, it is forecasted to carry already 116.1 million tons, i.e. by 9.8% more. Owing to export, freight traffic on Vanino and Nakhodka directions is the fastest-growing.
Further gain of freight traffic is supposed by means of development of existing and construction of new port facilities. Thus, if prospects for coal shipping to Khmiylovskiy station in the area of which it is planned to create “New coal terminal”, LLC and Smolyaninovo-Dunai area where “Port Vera”, LLC and “Port Sukhodol”, LLC are going to realize projects are considered, at large growth of traffic is possible on Nakhodka direction from last year 55.6 million up to 75.7 million tons by 2020.
Together with the construction of new transshipment facilities, additional load upon terminals of Vanino-Sovgavan transport and industrial hub is expected. This year, traffic shall reach 30.4 million tons, and by 2020, increase up to 75.4 million tons is expected. “Sakhatrans”, LLC, “Kompaniya Remstal”, LLC and “”, LLC plan to complete their complexes.
Since Far Eastern Railway is dock-side, its loading on main directions exceeds 90%. “Already today railroad is not always capable to bear without obstacles declared traffic flow providing loading of ports and oil terminals only by 77% from refining capacity. In order to correct the situation, it is necessary to develop our capacities,” stresses head of Far Eastern Railway — Nikolay Maklyigin.
Project for Baikal–Amur Mainline and Trans-Siberian Railway infrastructure upgrading (Russian Railways Eastern test range) the realization of which began several years ago allows for extension of carrying capacity in the direction towards Far Eastern ports by 66 million tons compared to 2012 level. The program is designed up to 2019 and allows for investment of 230 billion rubles only within Far Eastern railway - 42% of general allotment.
As a result total opportunities of railway infrastructure on freight carrying in the direction towards Vanino transport hub will double, to ports and border crossings of Primorsky Krai will increase by a factor of 1.6. This year, 587 facilities are included into Far Eastern Railways investment program, including by the project for Eastern test range development — 284 facilities. Reconstruction of 38 stations and 5 passing loops, construction of 33 new inter-stations and double-track inserted sections on six blocks, laying of the second track on nine areas are planned.
The great communication
Asia-Pacific region countries generate freight traffic across the globe. The transit of some freight goes through Far East territory and Russian main transport routes is capable of reducing expenses of consigners from China, Korea, Japan and other states. Recently, series of decisions focused on fulfillment of Far Eastern Federal District regions transit potential have been rendered. Primarily, this refers to the development of port infrastructure and railroad sections, improvement of border crossings and customs performance, including within the frames of Free ports mode.
Today, positive dynamics is demonstrated by container transport segment on China—RF link. During January-June period, nearly 246,4 thousand of TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) have been conveyed between the countries what exceeded the statistics for the first quarter of 2015 by 20%. At that, through traffic reached the value of 68.5 thousand TEU – by 83% more than a year ago.
Trans-Siberian Railway and Primorye ports (Vostochny and Vladivostok) capacities are deployed for transport of Chinese consumer goods. Containers come here from south ports of China as well as from Suifenhe —Grodekovo land border crossing which forms a part of “Primorye-1” International transport corridor (ITC).
Other port areas of Primorsky Krai start working with Chinese cargoes as well. Particularly, container terminal where handling is carried out without mooring to a berth, it gets done right in roadstead, has already begun operating in Slavyanka.
Currently, “Summa” Group cherishes the idea of “Big Port Zarubino” creation. The first stage of the facility will allow transferring up to 500 thousand TEU annually. It is expected that 60% of freights handled in this port will be freights from Northern provinces of China. Malakhino- Hunchun railway border crossing which is one of the main link of “Primorye-2” ITC will be used for traffic.
Beside the development of traffic to “Primorye-1” and “Primorye-2”, Russia proposes China to consider an opportunity of transit on main directions using other ports of the Russian Federation. Lately, Russian party has presented the project for PRC— Kazakhstan—Murmansk—Eastern ports of North America transport corridor which compared to routes running through Suez Panama Canals may cut delivery time for consigners. One more possible scheme of transit routes supposes entry through Azov-Black Sea Basin terminals: China—Kazakhstan—Taman— Western Europe (Marseille).
As explained by a head of “TransContainer”, Public corporation branch on Far East Railway — Petr Silin, there is rather high level of container shipping in China: “Today, PRC is a headline player at international market for servicing of container flow on Asia—Europe, Asia—North America directions and peculiarly itself generates the growth of container turnover. Consequently, expansion of logistic schemes, including through the territory of Russia, is quite natural”.