* Eyes shipments of 18 mln tonnes, 3-phase construction plan
* First phase to be completed in H2 2014
By Denis Pinchuk
ST PETERSBURG, Russia, Oct 11 Russia is set to
build a new export terminal worth $300-$500 million and capable
of shipping 18 million tonnes of coal a year via the Barents
Sea, the head of the Lavna Trading Port Company told Reuters.
The new port is expected to provide a cheaper path to Europe
and beyond for Kuzbassrazrezugol KZRUI.RTS, Russia's
second-largest steam coal miner, commonly known as KRU.
"The Lavna sea trading port has all the documents required
for the construction of the port," Sergey Kropotov said, adding
that the new terminal would serve Europe, the United States and
Should there be a need in the future, Lavna could eventually
increase shipments to 36 million tonnes per year, he added.
Construction of the three-phase project will start in 2012,
and the first phase, shipping 6 million tonnes of coal, will be
completed by the end of 2014, said Igor Rusu, head of state
agency Rosmorport. He did not give a target date for the 18
KRU and the Siberian Business Union, a transport-to-radio
conglomerate, each hold 50 percent of the Lavna project.
The terminal will be built in the Kolskiy bay of the Barents
Sea -- itself an arm of the Arctic Ocean, which lies to the
north of Russia and Norway.
The bay is deep and does not freeze, meaning that there will
be no restrictions on the size of ships, Kropotov said.
"Thus the terminal in Lavna will allow a saving of $2 to $4
dollar per tonne of coal on the shipments, compared with all
other north-western ports in Russia and the former Soviet
Union," he added.
Currently, the shipment of coal from Murmansk costs
exporters around $11-14 per tonne, sources say. Murmansk
currently works only with Russian companies SUEK and Mechel
(MTL.N), as well as Italy's Coeclerici.
KRU, which has said it expects to export 24 million tonnes
of coal this year, declined to comment on the port plans.
In 2009, KRU exported about 5.5 million tonnes of coal via
Vostochny port on the Pacific, and another 12.6 million tonnes
through the Baltic ports of Ust-Luga, Riga and Tallinn.
The company exported another 5.8 million tonnes of coal
through the Black Sea ports of Taganarog, Tuapse and Yuzhny.
(Writing by Toni Vorobyova, editing by Jane Baird)