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Russian Billionaire is Going to Change Tuva's Future!

Mezhprombank founded by Sergei Pugachiov (at present Tuvan senator in the Council of Federation) set up United Industrial Corporation (UIC) which is aiming at developing the largest deposit of stone coal in Russia in the place of Elegest (Tuva). Dmitri Sahno, member of the UIC Directors' Board, gave an interview to the Rossiyskaya Gazeta in which he shared the UIC plans in Tuva. Elegest's coal is considered one of the highest quality in Russia. Coal resources here make up 1 billion tones. UIC is planning to excavate in 6 years up to 12 million tones a year starting with 2 million tones in 2008. The German DBT Mining Engineers GmbH will supply mining equipment. The overall investments into the project stand at US$1.1-1.2 billion. They include the construction of the 460-km long railway connecting Tuva with the 'Big Land'.

The question of the railway, which was considered too costy even in the Soviet times when the money was practically not counted, seems now quite feasible to be settled by the new Russian government. The Tuvan railway was successfully lobbied by the businessmen to be included into the Transport strategy of Russia. As the partners for the long-term cooperation in the Elegest project UIC chose Japanese Sumitomo and South-Korean POSCO – representatives of the firms have already visited Tuva. The UIC is not going to wait till the railway is constructed and will begin escavation works there already this year transporting the coal to consumers by autoroads. It will create 1000 working places according to UIC estimations. As Mr. Sahno states, Tuva in the nearest future will turn from the Russian region donated by Moscow into one of the richest Russian provinces. The project is to be implemented during 60-70 years. But what will happen to Tuva afterwards?

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