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Timchenko’s Kolmar to Boost Coal Output Fivefold, Eyes Seaport

Kolmar, a Russian coal miner controlled by billionaire Gennady Timchenko and the Gunvor Group trading company that he co-founded, plans to invest more than $500 million to boost output fivefold.

Kolmar is seeking to produce 6 million metric tons of coal in 2015 compared with 1.2 million tons last year, Arkady Ostrovskiy, the producer’s investment director, said in an interview in Moscow.

Gunvor, which handles about a fifth of Russia’s seaborne oil exports, may also join Kolmar founder and co-owner Anatoly Mitroshin in building a marine terminal near the Vanino port in Russia’s Far East, Ostrovskiy said, declining to estimate the project cost. The terminal may export as much as 15 million tons of coal a year, he said. Siberian Coal Energy Co., or Suek, has spent about $450 million developing a coal terminal with similar capacity there, Kommersant newspaper said in August 2008.

Timchenko’s Volga Resources and Gunvor, in which he holds about 45 percent, agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Kolmar in July and plan to close the acquisition this quarter, Anton Kurevin, a spokesman for the billionaire’s companies, said by telephone.

Gunvor, with 2011 revenue of about $80 billion, is diversifying from oil to other commodities including coal, Chief Executive Officer Torbjorn Tornqvist told Vedomosti daily in October.

Kolmar, which mines coal in eastern Siberia’s Yakutia region, increased reserves 2 1/2-fold to 1.1 billion tons after its acquisition this month of the Zapadny coal field, which neighbors its other deposits in the region, Ostrovskiy said. Kolmar paid 950 million rubles ($32 million) for Zapadny, Russia’s subsoil resources agency said on website Feb. 9.

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