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SUEK Mulls Rail Venture

SUEK, Russia's biggest coal miner, is considering setting up its own rail freight operator, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

SUEK accounts for almost 10% of Russia's gondola car market. While it regularly needs about 40,000 gondola cars, a number comparable to the gondola fleets of a major player on the market, it itself operates less than half that quantity.

The company could set up an operator with a view to selling it in future, a source told Kommersant.

The only risk for SUEK is worsening relations with Federal Freight Company, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, which does not have a right to buy operators, only railcars, said a source. If SUEK sets up an operator with a view to selling it, Federal Freight could lose one of its biggest clients, he said.

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