Itar-Tass citing Mr Valery Yazev State Duma Vice Speaker, President of the Russian Gas Union as saying that Russia and the European Union should intensify cooperation in the context of China monopoly on the market of rare earth metals, which are used in many spheres from defense to alternative energy projects.
He will address delegates of the Brussels conference marking the tenth anniversary of the Russia-EU energy dialog on Monday. Russian Energy Minister Mr Sergei Shmatko and EU Energy Commissioner Mr Gunther Oettinger will take part in the forum.
Mr Yazev said he would cover the subject of rare earth metals in his speech. He said that “About 97% of world rare earth metals are produced in China, which has set export quotas and very serious duties. Meanwhile, alternative energy projects and defense cannot do without these metals. That is an area for joint efforts of Europe.”
He added that “It takes 350 kilograms of rare earth metals to make a 1.5 megawatt wind generator.”
Mr Yazev expects his report to cause heated discussions, because the world produces only 124,000 tonnes of rare earth metals and the deficit already amounts to 10,000 tonnes. He said that “The consumption will grow by 1.5 times within the next five to seven years. It will take 15 years to start bigger production. Thus, this is an interesting area for cooperation.”
In addition, he intends to draw attention of European partners to the raw material dimension of the energy dialog.