22 Oct 2009 13:30

NLMK mulling acquisition of coal assets

MOSCOW. Oct 22 (Interfax) - Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) is thinking of acquiring coal mining assets, the Russian steel major's spokesman, Anton Bazulev, said during the UBS conference in Moscow on Thursday.

"We're hoping for coking coal integration. We need approximately 9 million-10 million tonnes of coking coal per year," Bazulev said.

He said the company, in keeping with its strategy to increase its self-sufficiency in raw material, was open to any offers to buy coal assets, including licenses.

"We don't necessarily have to mine all the coal we need - we could buy some of it on the market. But we can't currently single out one particular company that would meet our entire needs because we use a wide range of coals," Bazulev said.

NLMK is looking at options in all regions, but Russia is preferable, he said.

He said importing coal did not make sense due to poor infrastructure and difficult economic situation.