LEADING Russian mining and metals company Mechel PAO has signed a protocol of intent aiming to develop ties between Mechel-Steel Management Company OOO and Kyrgyz Republic national company Kyrgyz Temir Zholu. The two parties intend to build systematic cooperation, including exchanging product information.

They will also seek cooperation in steel rolls supply, including those of broad-gauge rails.

The protocol was signed in Bishkek on the sidelines of the Sixth Russian-Kyrgyz Inter-Region Conference for a term of five years, in the presence of the co-chairmen of the Inter-government Russian-Kyrgyz Commission on Trade, Economic, Science, Technical and Humanitarian Cooperation, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Kyrgyz Republic’s Deputy Prime Minister Tolkunbek Abdygulov.

“We are interested in developing partner ties and expanding the market for our rails. We sincerely hope that signing this protocol of intent will start a long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation with Kyrgyz Temir Zholu,” said Mechel-Steel Management Company OOO’s chief executive officer Andrey Ponomarev.

Mechel’s products are marketed in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa. The company unites producers of coal, iron ore concentrate, steel, rolled products, ferroalloys, heat and electric power.

It has also secured recent agreements in Japan and China.

In November, Mechel signed a framework agreement with major Japanese universal trading company Itochu Corporation. The agreement stipulates that Mechel is due to supply Itochu with up to 300,000 tonnes of washed steam coal produced at Southern Kuzbass Coal Company’s New-Olzherasskaya Mine.

Japan’s market accounts for about 20% of Mechel’s coal exports and the company expects to increase this figure in the near future.

In December, Mechel reported that it has signed a long-term coal supply contract with China’s Jidong Cement, one of the world’s top cement producers.

Mechel will supply its Chinese partners up to 3 million tonnes of steam coal mined at Elgaugol OOO’s Elga Open Pit and Yakutugol Holding Company AO’s Neryungrinsky Open Pit. Jidong Cement is the chief foreign consumer of Elga’s steam coal.

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