It is my great pleasure to welcome you to our hospitable region!
Kuzbass is commonly known as the largest coal and metallurgy complex of Russia and one of its most developed industrial centres. However, we spare no effort to make it more than just a region of big coal and chemistry. Today, Kuzbass can also boast well-developed agriculture, the best motor roads in Siberia, year-round tourism, a high level of culture, and significant scientific achievements.
Over the last few years, Kuzbass has seen the development of new industries, changing its traditional economic makeup. Our largest innovative project is a commercial extraction of coal bed methane, which is a completely new sector in the economy of the region and the country as a whole. Today, we are already extracting methane in Taldinskiy coalfield, Prokopyevskiy district, jointly with OSC Gazprom. Methane is used as motor fuel and can also be used in gas engine power plants. By 2020, we expect to reach a commercial production of 4 billion m3 per year, which will fully provide the people and businesses of the Kemerovo Region with this new type of fuel.
This project is a major step towards creating a new economic sector to shift the region's focus from purely coal mining to coal and methane production.
We have been doing a lot to upgrade our automotive industry. Ltd. KuzbassAvto, Leninsk-Kuznetskiy district, in a joint project with the South Korean Hyundai Motor Company have been assembling Hyundai light trucks and high quality competitive buses of small and medium class for suburban and urban use.
In 2012, the holding company OSC HC SDS-Mash, in a partnership with the Republic of Belarus, started assembling BelAZ trucks. Another Belarusian partner, OSC Belkommunmash, has helped us to set up a tram assembly plant in the region.
The Anzherskiy Refinery with a capacity of 150,000 tons of oil per year and the Yaiskiy Refinery with a capacity of 3 million tons per year have been commissioned to meet our demand for fuel, which is currently delivered to Kuzbass from other regions.
The Kemerovo Region's Favoured Economic Zones Law No. 87-OZ of 08.07.2010 offers ample opportunities for the development of independent zones with favourable economic conditions for doing business in the region.
This Law makes provision for favoured economic zones in four areas, namely manufacturing, industrial agriculture, technology development and use, and tourism and recreation.
The Kemerovo Region already has several favoured economic zones in the cities of Leninsk-Kuznetskiy and Yurga and in Prokopyevskiy district, as well as a tourist and recreational resort Gornaya (Mountainous) Shoria in Tashtagol, with the first 11 resident companies operating there.
The focal point of our innovative infrastructure is Kuzbass Technopark, a new generation developmental institution that integrates efforts in education, research and manufacturing sectors.
Its core activities include deep coal conversion, coal bed methane extraction, advancement of mining engineering, development and use of high technologies in medicine, education and nature management, as well as finding solutions to environmental problems.
Today, the technopark's data bank contains over 100 ready-to-launch projects. Some thirty-two companies have been granted an official status of a Kuzbass Technopark resident since their projects are already in the pipeline.
On behalf of the Kemerovo Region Administration and our people, I should like to invite you to visit Kuzbass and see its economic and recreational potential and all the opportunities that it can offer.