The positive experience of cooperation between Russian and Japanese companies, as well as its development prospects, were discussed by Oleg Misevra, Chairman of the Board of Directors of EMCO, and Katsunori Okada, General Manager of Coal and Iron Ore Department of Sojitz Corporation. The meeting was held in Moscow. Igor Lastochkin, Vice-President of EMCO for export and Hiroshi Hiraiwa, Director of the Russian Representative Office of the Japanese company also participated in the meeting.
Over the course of 7 years, Sojitz is the largest buyer of coal from the Solntsevo Coal Mine. In 2018, the company purchased about 5 million tons of solid fuel. This year the scheduled volume of purchases is 6 million tons of coal intended for deliveries to South Korea, China, Japan, and other APR countries. Due to its quality specifications, the Solntsevo coal is in high demand in the Asian market. Sojitz also provides the Solntsevo Coal Mine with financing in winter, which allows not to reduce the rate of coal production in the inter-navigation season.
During the meeting, Oleg Misevra informed the Japanese partners about the successful start of the 2019 navigation at Shakhtersk coal seaport and a significant increase in the capacity of the coal transshipment terminal.
The representatives of Sojitz highly appreciated the results of the implementation of EMCO projects for the development of coal production and export. Thanks to the increase by EMCO of its transshipment capacities, the Japanese company has already sold 300 thousand tons of Sakhalin coal to Indian buyers. Solid fuel will be delivered to them by the 150 thousand tons of deadweight vessels. Earlier, shipments to India were hampered by the high cost of delivery when smaller vessels were used.
The guests were particularly interested in Oleg Misevra's proposal to explore the possibility of cooperation between Sojitz and the IST group in the production of rare earth metals. Sojitz is a member of an international consortium that provides about 90% of the world's niobium production. The Tomtor deposit of rare earth metals in Yakutia, a license for the development of which is owned by a subsidiary of JV of IST group and Rostech SC, is one of the largest and richest in niobium deposits in the world.