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Energy is running out

Why the very first resident of the TOR is slow with the implementation of the project in the Far East

Energy is running out
Special project TORA and Free Port
A few days ago, inspiring news circulated around the tapes of the Ural news agencies: the Bogoslovsky industrial park in the Sverdlovsk Region will host the production of power frames for Sukhoi Superjet aircraft. According to the work plan, the production of aircraft parts from alloys of aluminum, titanium and steel by means of machining will initially be formed. At this stage, requiring financial support in the amount of 1,1 billion rubles, the project will be supported by the Russian Industry Development Fund. Further, another 6,9 billion rubles will be invested in the project, for this money lines for machining and casting will be built to manufacture products for aircraft manufacturers.

If for the Ural regions this news is unambiguously positive, then in the Far East it caused at least bewilderment. Indeed, a year ago, a very similar project of the Energia Group of Companies for the production of parts for aircraft construction was named anchor for the Komsomolsk ASEZ, and the Epsilon-2 company was named the very first resident of the advanced development territories in the Far East. At the same time, the project "Epsilon-2" has not produced any bright news lately, and the meaning of the "behind the scenes" discussions of the project both in Khabarovsk and in Moscow, boils down to the fact that the underlying investment model is allegedly not fully agreed and is experiencing difficulties.

The press service of the Energia Group of Companies assured the EastRussia correspondent that the project in the Komsomolsk TOP would continue. “According to the current business plan, the timing of the launch of production lines is as follows: 1st stage: 2016 - 4Q. 2017, 2nd stage: 2017-2018, 3rd stage: Q3 2018 - 1 quarter 2020 ", - reported the press service of the company.

As noted in GK Energia, the project is co-financed through the established partnership between GK Energia, the Far East Development Fund and the State Transport Leasing Company (PJSC GTLK). “The success of the implementation depends on the coordinated actions of all stakeholders - the management team, the government of the Khabarovsk Territory and the administration of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, business partners, investors,” the press service said.

At the request of EastRussia, PJSC STLC and the Far East Development Fund declined to comment on their participation in the project. Note that PJSC "STLC" was not previously mentioned in connection with "Epsilon-2". The Far East Development Fund was previously mentioned in connection with the Energia Group of Companies project, but this investment project is not one of the seven in which the fund participates today. Outlining the Fund's policy on participation in projects, the head of the FEDV Alexei Chekunkov at the final meeting of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East at the beginning of the month noted that the FEDF portfolio contains 119 projects totaling 1,775 billion rubles, but "not all of these projects will be able to meet the Fund's strict requirements for protection, return on investment ".

"Fund's money is cheap and long, but so far they are only available to borrowers who can provide first-class guarantees of return of funds to the Fund," said Alexey Chekunkov.

In Minvostokrazvitiya Russia on the request of EastRussia replied that the investor 30 September 2015 was issued a certificate certifying the registration of a legal entity as a resident of the TOP Komsomolsk. The department stressed that information on the termination of the project from the GC "Energy" in the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia has not been received so far. At the same time, the ministry did not explain whether there are any points in the investment agreement with the resident obliging the investor to implement his project.

According to EastRussia, both regional and federal officials actively fought for the Epsilon-2 project last year. In particular, the Russian Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East acted as an arbiter between the United Aircraft Corporation and GK Energia in search of possible formats for guarantees from aircraft manufacturers to load the Epsilon-2 plant with necessary orders. It is the hardware lobby that can explain the appearance in the Comprehensive Development Plan of Komsomolsk-on-Amur (prepared by the Russian Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East in pursuance of the presidential order) of such preferences as the introduction of a localization program in the Komsomolsk TOR for the production of components for Sukhoi Superjet-100 aircraft.

The interest of officials can be understood: the Epsilon-2 project is beneficial to the state from all points of view: both quite serious investments (about 7,7 billion rubles), and modern high-tech production (the project really stood out against the background of other applications to the TOP), and localization in the Far East. Superjet-100 has already become one of the brightest brands of the national industry and a symbol of the Khabarovsk Territory, so any steps to localize production in the Far East will be a good advertisement for new measures of state support for business in the macroregion. The Human Capital Development Agency, created under the Russian Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, has already reported on the start of the search for future highly qualified employees for the Energia plant, which, according to the head of the Agency, Valentin Timakov, will be needed next year. Against this background, the possible withdrawal of the project from the race is an obvious image loss for all participants in the process.

At the same time, according to a source familiar with the situation, "if Energia is postponing the project, it certainly is not because of some administrative problems." According to the expert, the decision is more likely due to the lack of the investor's own financial capabilities - and the lack of the necessary support from financial institutions. “An investor with his project would be very beneficial as a success story - if such an experience were successful, it would be very noticeable. It is difficult to judge to what extent the initiators of the project were initially conscientious, whether they revealed their real potential. But the fact that the same Far East Development Fund did not participate in the project demonstrates that the implementation risks are really high. "

In the bottom line, the probable “dropout” of the Epsilon-2 project from the Komsomolsk ASEZ calls into question the ASEZ's initial specialization in the high-tech industry. There remains a woodworking plant and a small frozen fish processing factory. Meanwhile, the Ural media, citing the president of the Energia Group of Companies, Sergei Guskov, write: state aircraft plants will become consumers of the now Ural project for the production of aircraft frame parts.
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