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(Reuters) - SDS-Ugol, one of Russia's largest coal producers, will start building a seaport outside Murmansk next year to export up to 18 million tonnes annually, the company said in a statement late on Friday.
The existing coal harbor in Murmansk is located near the city center. The new export port will be built on the western side of the Kola bay. Photo: Thomas Nilsen
The company did not specify the costs and the terms of construction, but said it agreed with the local government that customs and border control terminals at the site would be operational by 2015.
It will also build a power station near the site.
SDS-Ugol, part of the Sibirskiy Delovoy Soyuz holding company, increased coal production by 25.8 percent to 11.7 million tonnes in the first six months of 2012, up from 9.3 million tonnes during the same period a year ago.
Industry insiders say shipping coal through Arctic seaports in the Murmansk region remains economically viable, despite sluggish coal markets which have seen prices dip to a level that many miners say is already below their production costs.
Total Russian coal exports from leading ports declined 14.7 percent in June, month-on-month, affected by the global price slump and low seasonal demand during the summer, traders and port officials said. (Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk and Damir Khalmetov; Editing by Mark Potter).
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