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The German consul discussed with the Rector of Mining University preparations for the Raw Materials Forum


16.03.2021

Rector of St. Petersburg Mining University Vladimir Litvinenko had a working meeting with the Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in St. Petersburg Stefano Weinberger. The parties discussed the preparation for the next Russian-German Raw Materials Forum, which will take place in April.


The Consul pointed out that this large-scale conference, initiated by St. Petersburg Mining University and Freiberg Mining Academy, had long ago established itself as an authoritative ground where businessmen, politicians and scientists can discuss the aspects of cooperation in the sphere of energy. He regretted that the sanitary-epidemiological situation still does not allow its participants to meet in person. However, the need to discuss a number of topical issues at such a representative level is long overdue, and therefore the decision to meet online seems very timely.


According to the preliminary agreements, the plenary discussions of the forum will be devoted to such topics as the influence of the European “green deal“ on the EU-Russia cooperation, the partnership of the two countries in hydrogen energy, digital transformation in the mining industry, and a number of others.


Vladimir Litvinenko emphasized that our states need agreement on cooperation in global energy today more than ever. That is a document that, in particular, would define the need for Germany to supply all kinds of energy resources for the foreseeable future. After all, demand for the same natural gas in Germany will grow for decades to come, and Russian exporters need to understand what volumes to reserve for their European partners.


Now in the Old World, there are attempts to take some “promoted” energy carrier (e.g., hydrogen) out of context and present it as a no-alternative option for mankind. This position may well turn out to be a trap, because the necessary infrastructure for the introduction of H2 is lacking, and its creation will require enormous financial injections. The problems with transportation and storage of the lightest gas in nature, whose molecules, due to their ultra-small size, can penetrate the crystal lattice of steel and destroy it, have not been solved either.

We all want to use clean resources and live on a clean planet. But we can’t detach ourselves from reality. We cannot see hydrogen as an unambiguous vector of development and rush too much for the sake of the energy transition at any cost. For our cooperation to be successful, we, first of all, need a balanced and clear policy that will take into account all aspects of the partnership in the fuel and energy sector, and not its particular elements. Only in this way will we be able to ensure that energy systems remain sustainable in the future

Rector of St. Petersburg Mining University, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Centre Vladimir Litvinenko

However, in his opinion, the first number of the Mendeleyev Table is quite capable of taking a local niche in the market and becoming one of the tools mankind needs to solve environmental problems. Therefore, today, as before, scientific research in the field of improving the technology of production, storage, and transportation of H2 is being carried out at Mining University. Their results could well be put into practice - Gazprom has already announced plans to build a plant for the production of hydrogen from methane in Germany. Scientists from the St. Petersburg university are planning to provide scientific support for the design and construction of the plant.


The parties noted that the history of cooperation between Russia and Germany in the mining industry is more than three centuries old, and in the energy sector - over half a century. Over all these years our states have proven to be reliable partners. That’s why the vast majority of people in both countries support the further development of joint projects that are mutually beneficial from an economic point of view.

I am honored to help strengthen bridges between our great culturally vibrant nations, and to expand them and build new ones wherever possible

The Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in St. Petersburg Stefano Weinberger

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