New opportunities for the formation of sustainable Russian-Chinese cooperation in the energy sector



JSC SUEK CEO Maxim Basov

The visit of the Chairman of the Russian Government, Mikhail Mishustin, to the People's Republic of China marks another stage in the development of friendly relations between the two powers. One of the key areas of the mutually beneficial partnership between the countries is cooperation in the energy sector.

In 2022, the trade turnover between the two grew by 29.3% to a record $190.27 bln, while more than 80% of Russian supplies to China are energy resources. Russian oil exports to China last year increased by 8.2% to 86.24 mln tonnes; liquefied natural gas by 43.9% to 6.5 mln tonnes; pipeline gas by 2.63 times; coal by 20% to 68 mln tonnes.

China is a globally recognized leader in energy and has chosen a wise and rational policy based on the unity of economic expediency, energy security, environmental and climate responsibility and advanced technologies. Within this policy, coal remains the basic type of fuel for Chinese energy and an important area of the energy dialogue between the two countries, along with oil and gas. The figures for 2023 confirm these positive dynamics. The demand for coal from Russia is also growing rapidly; in March 2023, China already imported record volumes of Russian coal (about 9 mln tonnes per month).

Today, Russia is the second largest coal supplier to China. The Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK), the largest coal company in Russia and one of the leading coal and energy companies in the world, has been operating in China for over 10 years. Today, the SUEK is Russia's largest importer of coal to the People's Republic of China. In addition, there is huge potential for further expansion of the partnership. If in 2022 Russia supplied China with over 7 mln  tonnes of high-quality coal, then in 2023 SUEK plans to increase this figure by almost 3 times, to more than 20 mln tonnes.


Operation of a shearer loader at JSC SUEK-Kuzbass's A.D. Ruban mine

In the very near future, we hope to discuss SUEK deliveries to China of 50 mln tonnes of coal per year. These prospects are very real. SUEK annually produces more than 115 mln tonnes of coal. The company is the world's fourth largest coal supplier, almost half of the coal produced is exported to consumers in 40 countries. Among the largest consumers of SUEK coal are China, South Korea, India, Turkey, and Morocco. At the same time, the Asia-Pacific region is the direction in which we plan to actively increase the export of coal and other commodities, such as iron ore concentrate, petcoke, and wooden pellets.

The capacity of our enrichment plants allows us to enrich 100% of coal supplied for export. SUEK has one of the largest wagon fleets in Russia - nearly 57,000 gondola cars - and has its own logistics infrastructure that allows it to transport up to 5,500 wagons per day. The company owns large coal terminals in the Far East and the North of Russia. We can supply coal to China through railway crossings, by sea and river routes. All this guarantees a timely and stable coal supply.


JSC SUEK Situation and Analysis Centre in Moscow

Another big area for cooperation expansion is the export of electricity from Russia to China. SUEK's energy division, SGC (Siberian Generating Company), is the 6th energy company in Russia in terms of installed power plant capacity. Today, there are many similar projects on the agenda, for example, projects for the supply of energy from the Russian Far East to Shuangyashan and Beijing.

I am also confident that the equipment supply for the mining industry and of technologies in the energy sector will continue to grow. SUEK has 11 repair and machine-building plants and are open to expanding cooperation with machine builders from China with the necessary competencies to produce high-quality products in demand in the industry.

The governments of our countries are doing a lot to further improve the conditions for cooperation between our countries in the energy sector, as well as in the development of railway infrastructure.

On behalf of SUEK, I want to emphasize that our company is ready to actively participate in the strengthening of economic cooperation between our countries and will continue to expand mutually beneficial ties with our Chinese partners.

JSC SUEK Chief Executive Officer Maxim Basov


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