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Alexander Gordeyev: "There is no problem to buy oil in Russia today"

Details of the largest project in the TOP-refinery in the Amur region - in an interview with EastRussia General Director of OOO Amur Energy Company

The largest project in the TOP with the participation of foreign capital is the refinery in the Amur Region, which is being built by LLC Amur Energy Company. Its value, according to the data of the Ministry of Economic Development, exceeds 123 billion rubles. There are a lot of questions to the project. The most important thing is how will the problem with ensuring the production of raw materials be solved? On the margins of the second WEF, the general director of the AEC, Alexander Gordeyev, revealed some secrets to EastRussia. He also said that the construction of the enterprise had already started on the site, and that an abandoned military town was bought and reconstructed for workers.

Alexander Gordeyev: "There is no problem to buy oil in Russia today"
Special project TORA and Free Port
- Alexander Vladimirovich, the project of the Amursky refinery is largely unique. What are its main parameters?
- You are right, the uniqueness of the project is not only that it is international, Russian-Chinese. And in that it is realized on the two banks of the Amur River - in the Amur Region and in the neighboring Chinese province of Heilongjiang. The oil processing plant will be located in Russia, from 2019 will process 4 million tons of oil and 2 million tons of oil and gas condensate. About 80% of all products on the three pipelines laid on the bottom of the Amur, will go to China.

- Are these pipelines already being built?
"Not yet, but they are being designed." Approximately 20% of products will remain in Russia. That is, once again, the project, first, international, and secondly, export-oriented. And significant - it's not about exporting crude oil, but about deliveries of products with added value.

You know, the project was conceived back in 2004. Then, however, it was not about the plant, but about the tank farm. Crude oil was to be brought to the station Berezovka and from there already pumped into China. In that 2004 year I signed a "protocol of intent" with Chinese companies in the status of deputy governor of the Amur region. Then I left the administration for a long time, retired and generally went to live in Rostov-on-Don. But two years ago, the Chinese partners remembered that there is a Gordeev who was involved in the project at the start. And they invited me to head the AEC. The project has moved to the active stage since last year.

- What is the interest of the Chinese?
- Elementary. The duty on the export of crude oil is one, and the export of finished products is three times less. For example, you have to pay 60 dollars per ton, and 20 dollars for supplies of already processed raw materials. This is the first and most obvious benefit. The second benefit of the Chinese is that they take a loan in China in RMB, and the value of the yuan today is 1 to 10 against the ruble. That is, one yuan is 10 rubles. Here are two clear economic components of the project. Well, the third component is the political one. Now it is fashionable to talk about the "turn to the East." In the west, sanctions and everything else, and here - a huge market for many years to come. In the Far East, we have the main problem - people are leaving. Soon there will be no one to sell oil. And in China, the market is huge.

- How will the problem with raw materials for the Amur refinery be solved?
- Today, it is not a problem to buy oil in Russia. And 4 million tons can be safely purchased - more offers than the demand for such volumes. The question is that today we can not sign a long-term contract. We need oil at the beginning of 2019. And it is clear that today no sensible entrepreneur will sign a contract, the more money, for such terms. But preliminary contracts have already been signed with five companies.

- With Rosneft, too?
- No, Rosneft is on the sidelines. Other companies are private, some of them, by the way, are affiliated with Rosneft. These are not large companies - rather, medium. "Kharyaga", "Profi TEK", TBC, etc. We somehow got the necessary volumes of oil - some companies with whom we have already signed preliminary agreements, or already have oil in the ESPO, or will be until the end of 2018.

- So you will not have a single supplier?
- Maybe it will. There is another option that our Chinese investors are working on. In Yakutia they have three deposits, companies have been created that develop them. And by 2020 we expect to receive oil there. So far, according to preliminary forecasts, there will be only 2-3 million tons, that is, we will still miss these volumes. But we can close some of the needs. This oil is extracted in the reconnaissance zone, according to all the rules, Transneft will not be able to refuse to connect these companies. So they will enter the pipe from Yakutia, and we will take this oil in the Amur region.

- Well, what about the supply of raw materials to the refinery? How are they planned to be organized?
- AEC business plan is designed for two options. The first is deliveries by rail, but they have restrictions on volumes and infrastructure. You can transport that volume, but there are no stations for reception. Therefore, we ordered a project to expand the station Berezovsky-Vostochny.

The second option is a pipe, a branch from the ESPO. The main oil pipeline passes in 60 km from Belogorsk, from there you can throw a branch before us. But there is one small nuance. To get permission to connect to the ESPO, you must have a contract with an oil company in your hands. And with him you can already come to Transneft and say that in this pipe there is our oil. Then they will give out the technical conditions for the connection. But so far we do not have such a contract. When we had a Russian missile launch at the launch site, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, I voiced this problem to him.

- And what did it give?
- It is necessary to amend the resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation by allowing Transneft to issue preliminary technical conditions. While we have an oral agreement. And we start at our own risk and design the branches. Because, at least, a year is needed to project and prepare for construction.

- And the cost of supplies by rail and pipeline will vary greatly?
- Strongly. By gland will be at 4 thousand rubles per ton more. Consider yourself - we need 6 million tons of raw materials per year, so the difference will be in 2,4 billion rubles. The branch from the ESPO is more profitable for us, that's why we ask you to make these changes in the resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation.

- Tell us about your Chinese investors?
- In general, the capital of AEK is divided as follows - 40-50-10. The share in 10% of the Russian company is InterRusOil. Another 40% - the Chinese company "Meng Lan Xin He" (Menglan Galaxy Energy Corporation), in which the founders - three individuals, the leaders of the three companies. In turn, "Meng Lan Xin He" established the company "AmurNeftekhim", which is also the founder of AEK for the remaining 40%. In fact, Meng Lan Xin He controls 90% of the Amur Energy Company.

Another little detail, which not everyone knows - that from China, at least one yuan to take abroad, you need to get permission from the government. So, we have the permission of the China Reform Committee, which says that the company "Meng Lan Xin He" is allowed to withdraw 9 billion yuan to the Amur oil company in the village of Berezovka, Ivanovo region of the Amur region. There is such a document that confirms the seriousness of the intentions of Chinese investors. And already about 2 billion rubles from the total amount in the project was invested.

- And what was done to them?
- The land is bought out, we own 150 hectares. A cement plant was built on the site, which will supply cement for the construction of the plant. And the first supplies of cement have already begun. The former military town, located at 1,5 km from the site, which was simply abandoned and abandoned, was bought. We invested in it about 800 million rubles, and now all conditions for a comfortable life of the personnel are created there. There all infrastructure - two year-round hostels, three summer hostels, a dining room for 400 seats, a vegetable store, a first-aid post, boiler rooms. All is asphalted, trees and grass grow. In the spring, when a large construction begins, we will settle 2,5 thousands of workers there.

On the site itself - a layer of soil, chernozem, was removed, 500 thousand tons of sand-gravel mixture was put into its place. Also poured temporary roads. And just a couple of weeks ago I laid the first brick in the foundation of the future brick fence. 150 ha should be blocked, and this is 5 kilometers. 2,5 million tons of brick put in it. Fencing, by the way, is also necessary in connection with the fact that we are implementing the project under the TOR regime. We import equipment for a huge amount, the TOR allows us to apply the procedure of a free customs zone, which will free from payment of import customs duties. We need to fence up, put cameras, prepare rooms for customs officers and start deliveries of equipment.

- Work at the refinery will be a watch or, once bought a military town, then on a permanent basis?
- At the construction phase, the AEC performs the functions of a customer and an investor. Build will be contractors. While they are not there, we will submit all the main documentation to the Glavgosexpertiza in Moscow only at the end of October. And already after the approval, I hope, by 1 January we will receive the necessary stamps, we will hold a tender for the selection of the contractor. I think that we will eventually have two general contractors. One is Chinese, followed by installation of equipment. This is the company Huadong, it has already projected our technological part. It also produces, delivers and assembles its equipment. In fact, the Amur Refinery will be a copy of a similar plant already operating in China. But the second general contractor, which will be built, with a share of probability in 90% will be Russian. Because, again, the ratio of the yuan to the ruble. If, conditionally, about five years ago, a Chinese for a cup of rice worked on the construction of the entire Far East, now you will not find such Chinese here. They now have to pay a minimum of 170 thousand rubles a month - and this is the minimum wage that comes with the transfer of the yuan to the ruble. We are here, at home, we will find builders for 30-40 thousand rubles per month. The economy is huge, and the Chinese owner understands that it is more profitable to build in Russia today, relying on local cadres.

- Without the TOR regime, would the project be implemented?
- Of course, I would. But it will be faster. We felt that only at the expense of the profits tax benefits after putting the plant into operation we will save 10 billion rubles within 80 years. But the main economy is on equipment. As I said, it will be exempt from duties. We import something without duties.

- You said that 80% of products will go to China through pipes? It turns out that in Russia you are building a plant that will meet the needs of China in gasoline?
- The pipes will not be gasoline, and naphtha - this is the first redistribution of oil. The refinery is the same as a samovar: the higher the temperature, the more decomposed and the more components at the outlet. The first repartition is naphtha, then you can make gasoline, diesel fuel and everything else from it. We will send this naphtha to China. The remaining 20% is 600 thousand tons of Euro-5 diesel fuel. Such volumes, by the way, are about 30% of the market of the whole Far East. We will compete with the operating refineries of "Alliance" and "Rosneft".

We also plan to produce up to 50 thousand tons of aviation kerosene - it is generally not currently produced in the Far East, they are imported from the Angarsk refinery of Rosneft. I think these volumes will go away in our country. And very interesting products - 150 thousand tons of oil coke. This is the last stage of processing, for example, bitumen is made from it. But we are not interested in this product, we will make petrocoke for metallurgical plants. Everyone knows welding electrodes. Sputtering on the electrode is the oil coke. Today, our metallurgists buy it in China, and the same in Daqing, where we will send semi-finished products. In general, I do not see any problems - local sales markets from our refineries will also benefit.

In addition, in the Amur region will be created 1200 new jobs, and the village of Berezovka will receive a huge city-forming enterprise. And if we take into account the multiplicative effect, then these workers will have to be fed, clothed, services to provide any kind of services. Plus repair brigades ... Around the Amursky refinery will be created a whole conglomerate for many years to come. Plus taxes to the budget - at least 8 billion a year from us will go, and this without excises. Plus a good salary - an average of not less than 50 thousand rubles. And we will work with our staff. We plan at the time of commissioning to have a ratio of 60 / 40 - 60% of ours, 40% of Chinese. But then, before 2022 year, we will carry out import substitution, all Chinese will quietly send to their homeland, during this time we will prepare our specialists. We have already signed an agreement with the University in Daqing, with the Amur State University. We will recruit students, we will send them to Daqing, where such an oil refinery works, they will be disaccustomed there for two years, will undergo an internship on similar equipment. And return to us. Some pros, are not they?
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