Russia country overview

The economy of Russia

Geography, People, Culture, and Economic Profile

Russia information index

Resources and power of Russia

The Russian Federation boasts considerable energy resources, encompassing a vast array of minerals essential to contemporary industry. Indeed, the nation hosts reserves of virtually all the raw materials requisite for modern industrial processes. Notably, Russia’s coal reserves are extensive, with the largest fields situated in the Tunguska and Lena basins in East Siberia and the Far East. However, these fields remain largely undeveloped, with the majority of coal production originating from fields situated closer to the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Approximately 75% of Russia’s coal is mined in Siberia, with around 40% from the Kuznetsk Basin alone, and the rest from the Kansk-Achinsk, Cheremkhovo, and South Yakut basins among other smaller sources. European Russia contributes significantly to the production of hard coal, particularly anthracite, primarily in the eastern Donets Basin and, to a lesser extent, the Pechora Basin near Vorkuta.

The privatization process of the coal sector commenced in the 1990s, leading to a situation where, by the early 21st century, around 60% of coal production was attributable to privatized enterprises. The withdrawal of governmental subsidies, however, resulted in the shutdown of numerous mines that were no longer economically viable. The most pronounced reductions in coal production were observed in the Central and Ural economic regions, as well as in the Rostov province within the North Caucasus region. Coal mines located in proximity to abundant oil and natural gas reserves have generally maintained more robust operations.

Russia is a global leader in oil production, responsible for approximately 20% of the world’s total output, and it surpasses a quarter of the world’s production of natural gas. The majority of these hydrocarbon resources are extracted from the expansive fields in the northern West Siberia region. The Volga-Ural zone also contributes significantly to the reserve base, with additional production from the Komi-Ukhta field in the North region. The North Caucasus region, once a preeminent producer during the Soviet era, now plays a minimal role in the sector. An extensive network of pipelines facilitates the transport of oil and gas to various regions within the country, to neighboring former Soviet republics, and to numerous European nations across the western border.

Russia’s power generation infrastructure includes around 600 large thermal power plants, over 100 hydroelectric stations, and several nuclear power plants. Thermal power stations account for approximately three-fourths of the nation’s electricity generation, with oil and gas fueling about two-thirds of this thermal energy production. The remainder of the power supply is generated by hydroelectric and nuclear facilities. The country’s hydroelectric power is predominantly derived from significant stations on rivers such as the Volga, Kama, Ob, Yenisey, Angara, and Zeya. Nuclear power saw rapid expansion until the growth was tempered by the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine in 1986. A considerable portion of the electricity produced in Siberia is distributed to the European region through high-voltage transmission lines.

Russia is a significant producer of iron ore, with substantial deposits located in regions such as the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly within the Central Black Earth region, the Kola Peninsula, the Urals, and Siberia. While steel production is present across all economic regions of the country, the most prominent steel manufacturing facilities are predominantly situated in the Urals, the Central Black Earth region, and the Kuznetsk Basin. Russia accounts for approximately one-sixth of global iron ore production and contributes between ten to twenty percent of the world’s output of nonferrous, rare, and precious metals.

The country boasts a diverse array of nonferrous metals, with the Ural region standing out as the preeminent hub for nonferrous metallurgy in Russia. The nation is a principal producer of several critical metals, including cobalt, chromium, copper, gold, lead, manganese, nickel, platinum, tungsten, vanadium, and zinc. Aluminum production in Russia is largely driven by the hydroelectric power stations in Siberia, although the domestic bauxite reserves are somewhat limited.

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