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On its build ...
Managing Director of JSC "Eastern Port" Anatoly Lazarev told a correspondent of IA "EastRussia" about why the regime of "full openness" is especially good for coal terminals
- Anatoly Anatolyevich, last year JSC "Vostochny Port", which you manage, noted its
In 2012, in his Address, Russian President Vladimir Putin drew attention to the need to develop the country's port facilities. At the same time, our shareholders decided to almost double the capacity of Vostochny Port JSC. Construction has begun - and the new terminal will be able to start operating as early as 2017. By 2020, the total annual freight turnover of the enterprise should reach the level of almost 40 million tons - to be more precise, 39 million. There are many objects: these are hydraulic structures, equipment, railway infrastructure, artificial land, etc. More than half of the project has been implemented, within the framework of the IX International Exhibition "Transport of Russia" we presented a layout and a promising business model of the terminal, which aroused great interest. I would like to stress that we are building exclusively with our own money. This is a fairly large investment. At the beginning of the project, of course, the amounts were different. Now construction is going on more actively.
- “Own money” - that is, shareholders' funds or profit?
- This is the money that we earn by providing transshipment of coal products today.
- Aren't you afraid that the price of coal will fall so much that it will become unprofitable to transport it to the world market?
- We live with such a risk every day.
- And as a last resort, the terminal can be reformatted?
- No. It is designed for a narrow specialization and only for one direction of export.
- Will the new terminal be covered?
- No, open. At the same time, all labor protection standards, industrial safety parameters and environmental requirements are fully observed. I don’t understand at all what the talk about coal terminals must be isolated from all sides is based on. Coal must not be covered. Or - if this is done - it is then necessary to strictly control the possible processes of smoldering and combustion. The danger of storing coal is due to its ability to ignite spontaneously. Coal is a load that cannot be kept in an enclosed space. Its physical and chemical properties are such that the only way to extinguish a fire in a mass of coal is to trim, transfer, pinch, "crush" with equipment. But you cannot water it with water, since it enters into a chemical reaction with it. There is also an option to completely pump out oxygen, but creating a vacuum in the warehouse is from the realm of fantasy. And here's the problem. There is a warehouse, there is a cargo, but no one can do anything with it, because you simply cannot enter the premises - when coal burns or smolders, it releases substances that are dangerous to human life. In fact, not comparable to his life. I sincerely cannot understand why it was decided that from the closure of the terminals everyone would immediately “be happy”. Will not be. Only a headache literally and figuratively. And today there are already examples of indoor terminals that have faced this problem.
Naturally, if the terminal is built from scratch, all these points can be taken into account. But even the only coal transshipment terminal in the Baltic States in the post-Soviet space, which has closed warehouses, is currently unprofitable. The cost of work in it is much higher than at other terminals. And all the same, it is necessary to build what will be in demand in the future.
- You are now carrying out large-scale work and also, for sure, assess different scenarios for the future. What risks do you take into account in your plans?
- The decision to build and develop was made, and we did not give up on it. Now we already clearly understand that the project implementation schedules are quite feasible in the planned time frame - despite all the unfavorable changes in the economy and geopolitics, the fall in the ruble exchange rate against world currencies, etc. We do not stop and move on. But we depend on more than our own determination. If the construction of railway stations and tracks does not begin now, then we simply will not have time for our launch.
We understand that Russian Railways do not yet have the physical ability to deliver cargo to us. You cannot ask the state for more than it can give. IN
We can stand for a long time with an outstretched hand, but this cannot be done. You need to go and solve problems yourself, no matter how difficult it is. And rely on our own strength - as we do with our construction site. Now we have the project of the station and access roads in our hands, we are sending it for examination. By the time the third stage of the Coal Terminal is launched, we expect to have the technical ability to work through the tracks that we will build with our own money. TO
Today, the resources of the railway here and along the Trans-Siberian Railway as a whole, to put it mildly, are limited. The throughput capacity can be slightly increased by improving the operational activities of Russian Railways specialists (increasing the weight of trains, a clear timetable, etc.). The state, as the main shareholder of Russian Railways, invests billions in the restoration of roads, of the 2016 billion rubles allocated until 160, the Primorsky landfill accounts for about 20 billion. It is very important to be the first here, since this program is designed until 2016. This means that we need to start up our wagons during this period, fix our ability to sign contracts, and before that, show the client our readiness to accept additional cargo, which we really count on.
- The costs promise to be considerable. Can the latest innovations help you, in particular, residency in the Free Port of Vladivostok?
- We applied to become a FPV resident on the very first day after the relevant law came into effect. We were present in Nakhodka at the last meeting of the head of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, Alexander Galushka, to which all the port workers were invited. And we made sure that no one of all the participants in the event is qualified to be FPV residents on formal grounds. I will say more - even the port of Vladivostok itself does not pass under these conditions. The law is designed as much as possible for new investors, for new enterprises. But we, for example, cannot now register a new enterprise, because all the necessary documents for the construction of Vostochny Port JSC have already been received and we are obliged to carry out construction.
- Will you apply to the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East with a request to amend this law?
- Minister Alexander Galushka instructed his staff to investigate the situation and develop appropriate amendments to the legislation. We are waiting for them soon. I will say more: we are not just waiting, but actively participating in their preparation, since we are interested in them no less than the administration of the Free Port of Vladivostok itself.
- Are you yourself ready to work according to the principle "faster, higher, stronger"?
- We are confident that our plans to launch our terminal in 2017 will be supported by the readiness of the railways to accept additional cargo. There are really a lot of applications. Those who live in Primorye understand the situation. Today, every day in the newspapers they write that another new terminal is being created, that its capacity is at least 20 million tons ... Sometimes there is a deceptive feeling that an incredible rise has begun on the stevedoring services market - there are only construction sites all around. The railway workers are shocked and do not know what to do with all this. According to the law, they have no right to refuse to issue technical specifications, but they understand that if all these projects are really implemented, there will be a collapse on the road.
We send our specialists to see if there are warehouses in the places that are written about in the media, whether equipment is being purchased, whether the berths are filled up, and so on. People come and tell - no, there is grass, daisies, the seashore, tents, camping sites, tourists are resting. You start to think - why all this talk about
- You already have two large clients for loading the terminal under construction - SUEK and Kuzbassrazrezugol. Do you have enough of them or will someone else be added?
- There are large players who are striving to enter the markets of Southeast Asia. We are ready to provide them with services. Today, our company has about 25 different commercial coal programs. We work with a number of coal mining companies, including both large market players and fairly young companies. We are open, so I am confident that the new terminal, which we plan to launch in 2017, will not only surpass the existing one, but will also be fully loaded.
The structure of Vostochny Port JSC today includes two production and transshipment complexes. The first is the only specialized coal complex in the Primorsky Territory with a system of conveyor equipment and a car unloading station (automation level is 98,9%, transshipment capacity is 14,2 million tons per year). The second - a universal production and handling complex - specializes in grab handling of coal, its capacity is 3 million tons per year. The completion of the construction of the third stage of terminal facilities is scheduled for 2017.