The CEO of Smart-Holding and the chairman of the strategic committee of Metinvest Group, Alexey Pertin, participated in the official opening ceremony of the new coking coal mine of United Coal Company that is part of Metinvest Group. The opening ceremony was also attended by the Acting Governor of West Virginia, Earl Ray Tomblin, and the mayor of Sophia, Danny Barr.
Today, Metinvest, an international vertically-integrated mining and metals company, announced its plans to increase its own production of coking coal. The new Affinity Mine that has been put into operation belongs to United Coal Company, part of Metinvest Group. The planned capacity of the mine will be 1.9 million tonnes of highest quality coking coal. The planned performance is expected to be reached in 2012.
The total volume of coal produced by the mines of United Coal Company in 2011 amounted to 8.2 million tonnes, thus, demonstrating a 14% growth. This year, the import of American coal to Ukraine is expected to make 0.8 million tonnes of coal concentrate (250% more in comparison with 2010).
‘We are very glad that this project, which will include four sections and a modern coal preparation plant was completed accurately and on time,’ said Dale Birchfield, the president of Affinity Coal Company. ‘The opening ceremony is the culmination of the joint efforts of our employees, contractors and Norfolk Southern railroad. We are particularly proud that the management of Metinvest Group took part in the ceremony and appreciate its confidence in this strategic project for Metinvest.’
The mayor of Sophia, Danny Barr, thanked the leadership of the Ukrainian company and separately noted the growing influence of the coal company on creation of jobs and revival of the entire region.
In the development strategy of Ukrainian coal assets of Metinvest, growth in production of the coking coal is planned by 7% - to 6.2 million tonnes in the current year (2010 – 5.8 million tonnes) and 5% next year – to 6.5 million tonnes. Apart from the increase in coal production, the modernization program of Krasnodonugol company, the second largest producer of coking coal in Ukraine, presupposes introduction of the best safety and environmental standards and practices. For these purposes, in 2011 Metinvest will spend UAH 930 million (USD 116.2 million, which is 1.3 times more than in 2010).
Increase in production of its own high-quality coal is one of the top priorities for the company. This primarily means strengthening of its vertical integration, and fundamentally enables the company to produce high-quality coke to improve the performance of blast furnaces at steel making plants of Metinvest.Major shareholders of Metinvest Group are SCM Group (71.25%) and Smart-Holding Group (23.75%).