Maersk Line, Limited and Rickmers-Linie of Hamburg, Germany, have formed a partnership to provide worldwide breakbulk and project cargo shipping using two newly built 19,592-dwt multi-purpose ships, the Maersk Illinois and the Maersk Texas, to be operated under the U.S. flag.

The Maersk Illinois recently departed Milwaukee with a load of two P&H 2800XPC electric rope shovels destined for a coal mine in the Russian Federation.

Freight forwarders Dialog Freight International (Canada) Inc. of Calgary, in partnership with Universal Cargo Services of St. Petersburg, Russia, have transported five P&H electric rope shovels in the past two years for P&H Mining (Joy Global) customers in Russia. Of these, four 2800 series shovels have been shipped directly from the Port of Milwaukee through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The two shovels are part of an ongoing supply relationship linking Milwaukee-based companies like Joy Global and Caterpillar with the coal industry in the Russian Federation. By the end of 2012, Joy Global will have placed a total of 23 modern P&H-brand electric mining shovels in Russia’s Kuzbass coal mining  operations since 2005. Russia is investing in modern infrastructure to help its coal industry expand.

With reserves estimated at 200 billion tons – the world’s third largest – coal has long been a dominant energy source supporting Russia’s economy and industrial base. Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin announced from Kemerovo, Siberia in January 2012 a plan to spend 3.7 trillion rubles (US$120 billion) on the coal industry through 2030. Russian companies produced 336 million tons of coal in 2011 and may reach 430 million tons by 2030, Putin said.

Russia’s Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko told Putin that Russia would more than double coal exports to Asia to an annual 85 million tons by 2030, including nearly 15 million tons to China. In comparison, Russia shipped 32 million tons to India, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and China during 2011. Exports to Europe will rise by an annual rate of 5 million tons to 85 million tons by 2030 and sales in Russia will increase 11 per cent to 219 million tons.