Famed Kuzbass Region’s Labor Feat to Keep Russia Warm by Coal Heat

By Elena Sidorova, Komatsu CIS, LLC

Komatsu HD785 dump trucks operating at the coal mine of OAO UK Kuzbassrazrezugol (KRU) in the Kemerovo region

Mr. Vasiliy Vladimirovich Yakutov, director of KRU, presents Komatsu representatives with a commemorative gift at the JoiFUL meeting.
Company Background and Overview
OAO UK Kuzbassrazrezugol (KRU) presently is one of the most famous companies in the Russian coal industry and is a member of OOO UGMK-Holding*. It has been actively expanding in the national market for nearly 45 years and is the largest open-pit mine coal producer in the country. The dedicated mining business integrating 11 open-pit facilities located in the Kemerovo region mines 17 coal deposits and holds 23 licenses for using subsoil resources. The company is also the largest Russian exporter of coal. As many as 25 countries around the globe have come to know and value its products.

KRU operates 670 km (416 mi) of its own railways. Besides, the company invests 600 million rubles in developing railway infrastructure.

KRU successfully deals with social issues, such as housing construction and implementation of nationwide projects, as well as contributes to the benefit and prosperity of the region and the nation at large.

KRU traces its origins back to 1964, when a dedicated integrated facility was established pursuant to the decree issued by the Council of Ministers of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR). All open-pit coal mining within this designated area was put under consolidated governance, so that the integrated mining facility merged 13 surface coal mines operating in the Kemerovo region at the time. Back then, Kuzbass open-pit mines yielded only 18,715,000 tonnes (20,629,545 U.S. tons) of coal.

Presently, KRU comprises 11 mining enterprises and remains the largest open-pit mining corporation in Kuzbass. In 2004, the company marked its 40th anniversary by exceeding 40 million tonnes (44 million U.S. tons) in its annual production and yielded as many as 41,316,000 tonnes (45,542,627 U.S. tons), achieving the greatest record ever in its history.

Annual production increases year by year, and in 2008 is expected to amount to 50 million tonnes (55 million U.S. tons).

Cooperation with Komatsu
According to Mr. Vasiliy Vladimirovich Yakutov, KRU director, “The company’s efficiency is based on the proper choice of equipment. Highly efficient machines are a must for increasing productivity.”

Komatsu equipment has been used in the Kemerovo region since the 1980s. It was then that the first machines, such as HD1200 dump trucks, D355A bulldozers and WD600 wheel dozers, were supplied from Japan. Some units still are in operation today.

“We have always valued Komatsu machines for reliability, steadiness and productivity,” says Mr. Yakutov. “We still favor this equipment for the same qualities.”

Currently, KRU open-pit mines operate 38 units of Komatsu mining equipment. The fleet consists of HD785 dump trucks, D275A and D375A bulldozers, WD600 wheel dozers, WA700 and WA900 wheel loaders and a PC5500 hydraulic excavator.

Confidence in Komatsu equipment was bolstered after a KRU delegation visited Komatsu manufacturing facilities in Japan on February 4, 2008. Participating members observed that “a high level of labor organization at these manufacturing facilities provides further evidence of the high reliability of the equipment.”

JoiFUL Meeting
In October 2008, Komatsu Ltd. management led by Mr. Taizo Kayata, president of Overseas Marketing, and Mr. Mamoru Hironaka, president of Product Support, together with Komatsu CIS, LLC management paid a joint visit to KRU for a Joint Follow Up Log (JoiFUL) meeting. The aim of the meeting was to extend cooperation between the two major global companies, as well as to discuss prospects and further development. According to Mr. Nikolay Alexandrovich Ivashov, deputy director for Mining at UGMK-Holding, who attended the meeting, the management company is interested in acquiring additional Komatsu equipment in the future. The negotiations provided positive impetus for further visits on a regular basis. The agenda focused on improving the quality of service, equipment for coal producers (specifically KRU) and prospects for joint development.

Projecting into the Future

KRU aims to attain annual production of 68 million tonnes (75 million U.S. tons) of coal by 2012. The company’s coal reserves amount to 2,300 million tonnes (2,535 million U.S. tons). These resources will have the company running for at least 50 years more.

How is KRU going to implement its plans? In that people are the most valued asset of the company, KRU is very particular about selecting and training its personnel.

In terms of equipment, according to Mr. Yakutov, high-performance, reliable and high-quality equipment helps the company improve its efficiency and keep moving forward. Accordingly, fruitful cooperation with Komatsu will contribute to the company’s future growth.

* OOO UGMK-Holding comprising OAO UK Kuzbassrazrezugol is one of the largest holding companies in Russia.

Enhancing Product Support with the Establishment of Komatsu Technical Support Center in Kuzbass

To provide support to such customers as KRU, the Komatsu Technical Support Center, a pioneering facility in Russia, will start operating in Kuzbass in 2009. This project is being implemented under a signed agreement on socioeconomic development of the Kemerovo region between Polysaevo City Administration and Komatsu CIS, LLC, which serves as Komatsu Ltd.’s general distributor within the Russian Federation. Encompassing a floor area of 6,000 m2 (64,584 ft2), the Komatsu Technical Support Center will comprise a components and parts warehouse, components rebuild center and administrative and education facility designed for work and training of partners and customers by Komatsu employees. Upon completion, the project will provide at least 50 new work sites.

The center aims to render prompt aid to customers in the event machines require rebuilding of components or scheduled overhaul. The center’s technical staff will be trained in accordance with Komatsu standards in order to provide customers with quality support.