The Russian Ministry of Energy supported the initiative of the Kuzbass authorities to introduce a moratorium on the increase of railroad tariffs for coal transportation in 2023-2024 as well as changes in the tax legislation in the industry.
The Ministry announced that coal companies should be able to forecast shipment costs for conclusion and fulfillment of long-term contracts. Coal companies are ramping up loading towards ports in the North-West, resulting from restrictions at the Eastern range (Baikal-Amur Mainline and Trans-Siberian Railway) and approaches to the Azov-Black Sea basin. The Ministry of Energy stressed the need to increase the throughput capacity of the Eastern range within the time frame specified in the government-approved regulations.
On the eve of the meeting of the State Council commissions, the Kemerovo region authorities proposed to put the mentioned moratorium in place, as well as a moratorium on the adoption of new laws and amendments to regulations, which could lead to additional financial and administrative burden on Russian suppliers, ports, operators and other participants of coal exports.
The Kuzbass authorities also suggested resumption of lowering coefficients for export shipments of hard coal depending on the distance of transportation. Furthermore, to attract extra freight volumes and unload the Eastern range, the officials proposed to consider the possibility of providing discounts on coal deliveries to the North-Western ports in 2023-2024.
Kuzbass also insists on comprehensive monitoring of modernization and construction works on the Eastern polygon, including monthly inspections of 83 approved priority facilities with the involvement of representatives of commissions of the Russian State Council, as well as the Consumer Council on the performance of Russian Railways (RZD).
In September 2020, RZD canceled a 12.8% discount on export shipments of coal and anthracite for Kuzbass companies, and in June 2022 removed the lowering coefficients to the tariff for export supplies of thermal coal and distances over 3,300 km.
In March 2022, RZD abolished the non-discriminatory access rules (NAD), which had given coal the priority for transportation through the railway network over other cargoes, more favorable to the rail operator.
According to Vladimir Putin’s instructions of March 2021, the volume of coal exports from Kuzbass eastward should be boosted until 2024 by 30%, compared to 2020, when 55.8 mio t were shipped from the region. In 2022 coal supplies from Kuzbass to the East fell by 5.5% to 53 mio t.