2014 July 3
- Mr. Vinokurov, how did the idea of Big Port Zarubino project come up?
- When talking to the Governor of Jilin Province I was told that the project had been under discussion for 20 years while our Group was the first to embark on its implementation. It is a serious large-scale project. We are for about a year in it. We started with the modeling then proceeded to the purchase of land. In April we discussed the project with our partners and saw a great interest of the Chinese side, both business and the government. As of today, we have signed some 15 agreements with Jilin and Heilongjiang Provinces for 80 mln t of grain per year. It is an absolutely “pro-business” project, it is advantageous for both the province and the business. Grain exports growth will obviously give rise to the province economy development, the companies will get a shorter transport leg and lower transport costs.
- What is the volume and the structure of investments into the project? Will the state participate in it and what is the form of its possible participation?
- Investments into the project can make $3 bln including investments into the port infrastructure, dredging and railway infrastructure. Of course, the project will be implement education through private-public partnership. Precise volume of investments and their proportions are not clear so far. However, we have already signed the first agreement on Big Port Zarubino project with Rosmorport.
The core investments will be made by our Group, FESCO Group, with borrowed and own funds. FESCO will be a core investor though we admit that there will be other partners for different terminals. For certain, United Grain Company will be a co-investor or a grain terminal. As of today, we expect that their shares in the grain terminal will be 50% each.
- How fast do you suppose to implement the project?
- We hope to commence the construction in 12 months and complete the first phase within 10-12 months.
- One more investment project is being implemented by Summa Group in Makhachkala, what is it about?
- We consider the possibility to build a terminal at the territories adjacent to Makhachkala port. First of all, we mull the construction of a terminal for transshipment of crude and oil products.
Transshipment of grain and other cargoes will become possible later. We are currently studying the cargo base through negotiations with Transneft and Rosneft. This project is to be completed within two years.
- Do you plan to acquire any coal assets?
- No coal assets are our target for the nearest future, the existing facilities is enough.
- Is FESCO fleet efficient from the point of view of shipping business today?
- Efficient. It is one of the Group’s basic activities and we plan to develop it as the business grows. It will undergo modernization. No decisions are made yet on the volume and terms of it as we are looking into the issue and analyzing it ...
- What is the current status of the icebreaking fleet under your operation? Are you ready to hand it over to Rosmorport?
- Not ready. We are now in negotiations with Rosmorport and the Ministry of Transport on the renewal of lease. There are plenty of interesting projects we want to participate in. The development of the Northern Sea Route is among them.
Interviewed by Elena Snitko