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Some in the Kuriles

Group of companies "Gidrostroy" strengthens influence in the Sakhalin region

Some in the Kuriles
Photo: gidrostroy.com
In the Sakhalin Oblast, the territory of the advanced development (TOP) "Kuriles" is being formed. The decision on its creation was signed at the end of August, the profile of the TOP is indicated - deep processing of fish and other aquatic biological resources. Also, preferences for residents are indicated: customs and tax benefits (by 2026, their volume will reach 2,2 billion rubles), assistance in creating infrastructure. The result should be the creation of 700 new jobs, 5,8 billion rubles in taxes for the same period - up to 2026, the strengthening of Russian-Japanese economic (and, consequently, political) ties and, of course, an increase in dozens of fish products.
 
At the same time, it was initially emphasized that the TOP is created for a specific project of a specific enterprise. The decision on the formation of the TOP "Kurils" was made after the management of the Ostrovnoy fish processing plant. The one who "became famous" for the whole country after last year's direct line with the president, when his workers complained of monstrous salary delays. The year passed in attempts to rectify the situation, to find and punish the guilty, and most importantly - to reanimate the once prosperous production, the city-forming enterprise of Shikotan.
 
The decision was found: the plant "Ostrovnoy" as an anchor resident of the TOP "Kuriles" is ready to start construction of a complex for the production of frozen and chilled fish products and canned food. Investments in the project - 7,4 billion rubles, jobs - 700. A canning factory, a fish storage facility, a freezing warehouse for 15 thousand tons will be ready, according to the project, for 2018 year, two robotic freezers and a deep processing plant for cod and salmon fish to 2020.
 
However, recently it became known that on Shikotan a similar fish processing complex is already creating the largest player in the industry, whose problems, similar to those that Ostrovnogo has, did not exist - the group of companies Gidrostroy.
 
Plans combine "Island" last time clearly voiced in the summer. And in the telecast that appeared on the state television channel a few days ago, about them not mentioned at all. But much is said about the plans of Gidrostroi: here is the story of the newly purchased modern ships, the construction of a fish processing megacaster, the creation of an energy infrastructure, and the intention to "feed the sardine of Ivasi not only Russia but also China and even African countries ".
 
It turns out, "Gidrostroy" ousted "Island" from the project? Or on one small island will be able to get along and compete two large-scale enterprises of the same profile? Or maybe the two companies united on the terms that arranged both sides?
 

NOT COMPETITORS
Vladimir Bocharnikov, General Director of CJSC Kurilskiy Rybak (part of Gidrostroy Group of Companies), when asked whether the company will use Ostrovnoy's capacities to implement its project and whether the companies are somehow related to each other, answers unequivocally: no. Note that both the management and the new investor of Ostrovnoy have no relation to Gidrostroy (in the spring of 2016, the investor of the first has become Sakhalin company Kuril Complex. - Prim EastRussia).
 
- On Shikotan "Gidrostroy" launched its plant in 2003 year. It was our third one: before it two fish processing complexes were built on Iturup - "Clear" and "Reidovo", and the complex "Kirov Collective Farm", which is in Korsakovsky district, became a part of "Gidrostroy" in 2009 year, says EastRussia Vladimir Bocharnikov. - So we have a base on Shikotan for a long time: the plant itself, refrigerators, hostels for workers. We built our own pier here. In the beginning of autumn, Norwegian vessels came to us - fishing trawlers, bought by Gidrostroi: Torland and Toron. In short, it's not about starting the project from scratch, but about re-equipment, updating.
 
According to Bocharnikov, now the entire management of Gidrostroi, in his words, "in full force", left for Iceland: adopt the experience of a similar fish processing complex, study new equipment that the Sakhalin company bought from Icelandic colleagues.
 
- The Icelandic processing line has already been installed, we installed it in less than two weeks. We are waiting for other automated equipment - for sorting, laying. The plant will specialize in frozen products from sardines and Iasi and pollock. Its productivity will be 1000 tons per day, - says Bocharnikov. - We will launch a new plant tentatively by June of the year 2018. To say that a lot of jobs will be created on it, I can not: because of the high degree of automation of production, there can not be many of them.
 
In "Gidrostroy" they say: the main thing the state could help the company with is the energy infrastructure. According to calculations, the power consumed by the plant will be 6 megawatt, and on Shikotan with power supply is tight. And what about TOP? There, after all, should help the residents with the creation of the necessary infrastructure? But Gidrostroy is not its resident. And it seems to be not even going.
 
- To participate in the TOP "Kurils" at the moment only one application is submitted, for 7,4 billion rubles, is the application of the fish processing plant "Ostrovnoy". It is under consideration, "Evgenia Vasilieva, an official representative of the Ministry for the Development of the Far East, told EastRussia.
 
The consideration of this application lasts from the beginning of July (it was filed before the signing of the resolution on the establishment of TOP). The application has not been approved yet. And Gidrostroy is already working full-time, without waiting for the signals and permits.
 
Will the project "Ostrovnogo" receive the approval in the existing conditions? Moreover, given the fact that the plant was essentially losing the HydroStroy in terms of its capabilities and technological equipment (for example, its fleet is not owned by Ostrovnoy, and other companies shared it with raw materials). Questions, perhaps, rhetorical.
 
We can say that Gidrostroy has won one more territory. The company, in particular, is actively involved in the extraction and processing of Iwasi sardine, which now, for the first time in a long time, has gone to the Kuril shores. Scientists predict that in the next 5 years it will be possible to extract 4 million tons per year. And this is comparable to the volume of all aquatic biological resources extracted in Russia.


AND FISHERS, AND BUILDERS
Actually, it always distinguished the company “Gidrostroy”, - the ability to quickly navigate in any situation.
 
Started the enterprise as a construction - back in the 1990. From work in this sphere did not refuse, but then, in 90, it was engaged in the fishing industry. So now it is the largest fishery holding in Russia, and one of the key construction companies for the Sakhalin region.
 
In addition to a dozen of enterprises associated with the fishing industry (and their company has always built and serviced itself), on the account of Gidrostroi built schools, hospitals, kindergartens, a geothermal power station with an access road in 22 km, 6 bridges; 12 km of roads; about 20 residential buildings, engineering facilities, Yasny airport on Iturup, a cultural and sports center in Kurilsk, in the same place - a fire station, residential complexes for seasonal workers. The own fleet of "Gidrostroi" is about 40 ships.
 
"All cargo and passenger sea transport on Iturupe is serviced by the loading and unloading department of Gidrostroy. In a year 40-45 thousand tons of various cargoes are transported. This ensures the needs of the company itself, municipal enterprises, the population, as well as objects under construction in the Kuril program, "- noted on the official website of the group of companies.
 
In "Gidrostroi" it is said that the enterprises belonging to the Civil Code are city-forming for at least four settlements of the Sakhalin region, and more than 6000 people give work (including seasonal workers). This, by the way, is greater than the entire population of Iturup.
 
Creator GK "Gidrostroy" Alexander Verkhovsky once noticed that the company is the main executor of the federal target program "Socio-economic development of the Kuril Islands". With this it is difficult not to agree, it only remains to add that one of the key taxpayers of the Sakhalin region is, too.
 

PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH 
At the same time, it is impossible to say that the reputation of Gidrostroi in the region is absolutely flawless. Periodically, various kinds of scandals and proceedings are connected with the company.
 
In 2013, for example, residents of the village of Ozersky drafted an appeal to President Vladimir Putin and the regional prosecutor's office, complaining that Gidrostroy does not take local people to work, leaving them without means of livelihood, and hiring migrant workers. Accused the company's management and the general collapse of the village. Allegedly people were promised when Gidrostroy went to Ozersk, in exchange for shares of the fish farm named after Kirov (by that time practically bankrupt) establish life in the village, but deceived, and it only got worse.
 
At various times, the enterprises belonging to Gidrostroy were also accused of illegally obtaining tax benefits (it is about tens of millions of rubles), and in the non-fulfillment of construction contracts on time.
 
But for Gidrostroi, all these cases, by and large, had no consequences. After the statement from Ozersky in the offices of the management of the holding were searched (apparently, the investigators did not find what interested them). As a result, the villagers received a response from the regional government in the spirit that the employer can be understood: Russian workers abuse alcohol, demand unreasonably high salaries, work badly, not that skilled and hardworking foreigners.
 
And this answer perfectly illustrates the attitude towards the company in the region as a whole: everything is not without flaws, and it’s impossible to do business without a single slip. But if a business “drags” on itself what is beyond the power of either the regional, or sometimes the federal authorities, it’s worth a blind eye to some “minor blunders”.
 
It is too early to guess, but there is a high probability that something similar will happen with the "Kuriles" TOP. While everyone is waiting and discussing, the giant company is working hard to create production, which has few analogues in the world. And he does it for his money.
 
Incidentally, not everything in the idea of ​​the TOP "Kuriles" of the Sakhalin people suited. In particular, many were puzzled by the intention to actively involve large Japanese investors in the new TOR "for joint development" of projects. It is clear that those who were dissatisfied with this prospect were guided by political, and not by economic considerations (it is a question of disputes over the Kurils). But in September the South Kurile Development Association (YUKAR) was established in the region, which developed proposals for the development of entrepreneurship in Shikotan and Kunashir without the participation of the Japanese side. And here everything also stopped at the level of intentions.
 
While YUKAR, the regional government and the federal authorities were looking for the opportunity to "meet and talk," Gidrostroy moved a few more steps in its project, in fact closing the way for those foreign investors who are not very interested in this company. That is, and a big policy on the islands is also doing business.

One of the sources of EastRussia, commenting on the situation around the TOP "Kuriles", drew attention to a strong political aspect in the issue of the creation and development of this territory of advanced development. So, despite the fact that the statements on the creation of TOPs in the Southern Kuriles by the Ministry of the Interior of Russia sounded from 2015 year, the legal registration of the new economic zone took place in an accelerated mode - literally within two months. "The feeling that this was done as an intensification of the national negotiating positions on the eve of the meeting of the leaders of Russia and Japan at the WEF," the expert said.

This logic explains, in particular, the rhetoric around the new TOP. The Russian side will wait for two months from Japan for proposals to participate in the advanced development area (TOR) "Kurils", and then will start looking for investors in Russia and other countries, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Plenipotentiary of the President in the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev told reporters on September 7 ... The term of this "ultimatum" will expire soon - November 7, while so far no initiatives of the Japanese side have been publicly announced. Moreover, in the Register of PDA residents published on the website of the Far East Development Corporation, residents of the Kurils PDA are, in principle, absent.

“We respect the proposals of our Japanese colleagues for the joint development of the Kuril Islands, but we would like to see these proposals on paper,” Yuri Trutnev's news agencies quoted in September. 

Earlier EastRussia wrote about the rhetoric of the Japanese media in response to creation of TOP "Kuriles". The basis of the argument of almost all newspapers was the thesis that the creation of this economic zone is contrary to the previously reached agreements on finding forms of joint business on the islands, since it implies exclusively Russian jurisdiction. So, the press wrote, the initiative should be ignored by the Japanese government.
 
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