MOSCOW, April 03. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Energy Ministry forecasts hike in the coal production in the country to 480 million tonnes by 2030, Energy Minister Aleksander Novak told the government’s meeting on Thursday.

“We are confident that it is rather realistic to raise coal production in the country to 480 million tonnes by 2030,” he said, adding, “For instance, Kuzbass [Kemerovo Region] can increase its annual coal output from 203 million tonnes to 238 million tonnes, the Baikal Region – from 37 million tonnes to 52 million tonnes, while the Far Eastern Federal District – from 33 million tonnes to 75 million tonnes.” The minister also projected that East Siberia (exclusive the Baikal Region) can raise its coal output from 58 million tonnes to 90 million tonnes a year.

“In the coal mining development program, the assessment of the coal demand on the domestic market was carried out with due account of possible coal consumption in the electricity generation sphere, and in the housing and utilities sector,” Novak said. Moreover, the program also took into account prospects for the use of coal in absolutely new areas, including deep processing, cement industry and so on.

“Under our forecasts, short-term coal consumption in Russia will remain unchanged. Bu we cannot say about further drop, which was registered in this sphere lately,” the minister said.

He also put forth data, in compliance with which Russia’s coal export will go up by 70 million tonnes by 2030. Moreover the biggest part of the export growth will account for the East, while the coal supplies to the Atlantic market will remain unchanged.