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The delayed terminal in the Free Port

Japanese investor did not start construction of coal transshipment at 60 billion rubles. In Primorye in time

The company New Coal Terminal, established by the Japanese investor, which became a resident of the SPV a year ago, has not started construction of the declared facility - a powerful coal transshipment complex designed to destroy the logistics monopoly of Russian exporters of "black gold" in the Far East. The main reason for the shift in the timing of the project, according to the company itself, is "lack of support from the Russian state". Experts put the question in another way - do we really need such a terminal?

The delayed terminal in the Free Port
Photo: shutterstock.com
Special project TORA and Free Port
Becoming a resident is not enough
"The project has no support from the Russian state, which was counted by our Japanese parent company TOSEI Co., Ltd and the project lender in the person of one of the Japanese banks. Therefore, the construction of the largest specialized transshipment complex, planned for the beginning of 2017, did not start. While we are forced to shift the whole schedule for a year ahead. Therefore, the launch of the first stage is planned not for 2019, but for 2020 year ", - Alexei Schepin, Deputy General Director of OOO Novy Ugolny Terminal (NUT), said to EastRussia.

Under the absence of support, the top manager understands any documentary evidence from the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation "in the form of a letter of intent, for example, where it will be clearly stated that Russia needs this terminal, which annually gives up to 50 million dollars of taxes to budgets of all levels and about five hundred jobs for Primorye. "

NUT, a company established by the Japanese production and trade holding TOSEI Co., Ltd., was registered as a resident of the Free Port of Vladivostok (FPV) exactly one year ago. In April 2016, a corresponding agreement was signed between it and the Corporation for the Development of the Far East (KRDV). The resident entered FPV with a project to build the first "public" coal terminal in the Far East with a throughput capacity of 20 million tons of coal per year, with an increase in the future to 40-50 million tons. For comparison, the largest coal transshipment complex in the region today, Vostochny Port, handles about 20-22 million tons per year. The size of the declared investment by TOSEI Co., Ltd. - $ 866 million, the terminal construction period is 4 years.

The "public" status implies that in an region where the dominant position in coal logistics is occupied by the daughter ports and terminals of all four Russian raw materials holdings - Evraz, Kuzbassrazrezugol (KRU), Mechel, SUEK - an independent operator will be established to provide free access to Asian markets for small and medium-sized coal mining companies from Primorye, Yakutia, Kuzbass and even Mongolia. In Primorye, the investor is even ready to invest in the restoration of the abandoned mines of the Partizansky coal-mining complex, which are located near the future terminal.

TOSEI Co. - not a beginner in the coal industry, stated on the main page of her site: "We offer various types of coal fuel for power plants and the metallurgical industry. For many years our company has been forming an investment portfolio related to coal mining in Russia. We have operating assets (mines) in Yakutia. We help our Russian partners in the mining industry to enter the Japanese market. We also help Japanese companies - who are interested in investing in the Russian coal industry - to look for partners in Russia and conclude deals. Today, TOSEI Corporation directly participates in projects for coal mining and logistics, passing through the Far Eastern ports of Russia. Our company is trying to combine its knowledge and experience in Russia with financial resources in Japan to implement joint projects in the coal industry. "

East Europe. DOSSIER. TOSEI Co., Ltd is part of the Japanese holding Tosei Group, which is focused on the mining and related industries. One of the main activities of the holding is the export of used and new mining and construction equipment to the Asia-Pacific countries, including Russia. TOSEI Co., Ltd. (as follows from the information on the corporate website of the Tosei Group holding) specializes in the production, transportation and sale of coal, and in Russia it plans to obtain permits for the development of three coal deposits (two in the Primorsky Territory and one in the Khabarovsk) with the total volume of proven coal reserves - 146 million tons.

It is curious that the Japanese set out to raise a coal project in Primorye with the help of a junior Russian partner who has no explicit and direct relationship to the coal industry. According to an extract from the Russian Unified State Register of Legal Entities, New Coal Terminal LLC (NUT LLC) was established by the Japanese company TOSEI as a legal entity back in May 2011. With an authorized capital of 69 million rubles. The location of NUT LLC is Vladivostok. Activities: transportation, road transport, accounting and audit, legal activities.

According to the information disclosure server kartoteka.ru, the revenue of LLC "NUT" in the period from 2012 to 2013 fell from 2,4 million rubles to zero, while the profit was stable at zero until 2014. From this we can conclude that the company's business activity during these years was also practically zero.

It is noteworthy that the general director of NUT LLC, Aleksey Aleksandrovich Shchepin, is listed (according to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities) as the founder and head of such companies in Primorye as: DV Nedra LLC (the main activity is mining and processing of coal and anthracite), Tosei LLC (trade in cars from Japanese auctions), LLC "Promzona" (construction of port and hydraulic structures), LLC "Pacifikagrokompleks" (growing and selling vegetables). It is also noteworthy that Alexey Shchepin, the general director of NUT LLC, is working as his brother-namesake Alexei Nikolayevich Shchepin (this is how he introduced himself in a telephone conversation with the EastRussia correspondent).

Today, according to the NUT management, small and medium-sized coal producers, including those from the Primorsky Territory, are unable to export their coal to the markets of the Asia-Pacific region (APR). Meanwhile, according to the calculations of TOSEI Co., Ltd. specialists, in the next decade, the demand for solid fuel in Japan and other countries of the Asia-Pacific region may exceed 200 million tons per year. The Russian Far East, even taking into account the development of existing transshipment complexes (Vostochny Port, Daltransugol terminal, Posyet port, Vaninsky port, Astafiev Terminal and a number of other, smaller ones), will be able to export no more than 110 million tons to year.

“In this situation, the construction of our terminal is more than timely. It will cover a significant part of the deficit in the throughput capacity of the region, will make it possible to export coal directly to the most important importing country for Russia, as well as a whole legion of small and medium-sized coal mining companies in the Far East and Siberia, which do not yet have full-fledged cargo handling access to Asian markets, but dream get it, ”says Alexey Shchepin.


Green technology for black cargo
According to him, the parent company, TOSEI Co., Ltd has already invested about two million dollars in its project in the Far East. All of them went to ensure the preparatory period of construction in 2015-first half of 2016 year: market monitoring, preparation of pre-project and project documentation, selection of design organizations, formation of funds. In March of this year, construction work in the sea should already begin - erection of a pier and overpass for mooring multi-tonnage vessels. Input of the first stage was originally planned for the middle of 2019 year, the second - for the middle of 2021. Today these terms are shifted accordingly for June 2020 and June 2022.

Over the technical design of the terminal, said the deputy head of the resident company, three organizations worked: the engineering company Morstroytechnology from St. Petersburg, the design and exploration institute Dalgiprotrans from Khabarovsk and the Far Eastern Research Institute of the Navy from Vladivostok.

According to the project documentation, the new coal terminal will be located far from settlements (at least at a distance of 3,5 km, in order to exclude any negative impact on the environment) in an open space of 171 hectares near the Khmylovsky junction railway station, which has access to the junction terminal port Transsib station - Nakhodka-Vostochnaya. The terminal site directly faces the sea near Cape Klykov, in the northeastern part of Nakhodka Bay.

The terminal infrastructure will include: a port railway station (20 tracks of 1050 meters each), a railway cargo front (2 railways equipped with scales, two defrosting devices, two side car dumpers with a capacity of 1750 tons / hour), an open warehouse with a maximum capacity of 1,6, 2 million tons, handling equipment, a system of conveyors, a quay front (440 deep-water quays, each 15 meters long and 3 meters deep at the quay wall), a XNUMX km long approach overpass for large vessels, a block of administrative and auxiliary buildings, repair boxes and garages, treatment systems, including a biological wastewater treatment system and sewerage, energy complex facilities (transformer stations and distribution blocks).

To minimize the harmful effects of coal dust, the project provides for protection by special casings of conveyor lines, as well as a system for sprinkling coal piles with water in the summer months and a special composition - in winter, which binds the surface of a free-flowing energy carrier with an ultra-thin film and thereby prevents the dispersion of the smallest coal particles.


Narrow Transsib
Experts interviewed by EastRussia do not exclude: the project can in principle be implemented, albeit with a delay. True, there are several "buts."

The main "if": the investor will still need to enlist the moral support of the federal Russian authorities and take on the modernization of the railway infrastructure, which today is perhaps the narrowest (in the literal and figurative sense of the word) place of Far Eastern logistics.

"Russian coal today is very competitive (not least due to the devaluation of the ruble in 2014 year) and is in great demand in the APR countries. And this is for the company NUT and its Japanese founders - plus. But they do not have their own cargo base, like the same Evraz or Mechel - and this is a minus. Here, indeed, much depends on the degree of the location that will be rendered or not rendered to TOSEI company at the very top of Russian power. I think that the management of the Japanese company understands this perfectly and takes the necessary steps. The Japanese are very interested in the successful implementation of their project in Russia, "believes Yevgeny Bykov, General Director of Transport Leader LLC.

EastRussia help. According to the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, from January 2013 to March 2017, the level of coal production in the country increased by 27,8% and reached about 1,5 billion tons. Investments in fixed assets of coal companies in 2016 began to grow for the first time after four years of recession, and by the beginning of the second quarter of 2017 exceeded 73 billion rubles, an increase of 21,5%. Over the five-year period, the volume of Russian coal exports to other countries increased by more than 50% and amounted to 653,1 million tons. Active importers of Russian coal are Russia's neighboring countries in the Far East region: China, Japan, South Korea. The territory of the Russian Far East accounts for 35% of all coal resources of the country. The region has about 100 explored deposits with proven reserves of 19,3 billion tons, of which 63% is brown coal, 37% is bituminous coal (of higher quality in terms of its combustible properties). The main volume of reserves (about 75%) falls on Yakutia, the Amur Region and the Primorsky Territory. Over the past five years, world coal prices have shown strong volatility and in March 2017 amounted to about $ 53 per ton, which is $ 4 less than in March 2014.

Alexey Dolmatov, the head of the logistics department at VR Logistic, agrees with the opinion of the NUT management that the Far Eastern market of coal logistics is monopolized today and sees certain difficulties for its rapid entry into it: "In fact, we can talk about monopolization of the coal export market in the APR countries. Medium and small coal producers do not have access to the buyer for these reasons. If the Japanese realize this project on a declared scale, another independent player in the industry will appear in the Far East, which will create additional competition and help start the movement in the cost of stevedoring services, give additional impetus to the development of the region. The status of the SPV resident and the large-scale investments that are announced by the initiator of the project can help to make this happen. "

However, there are factors that can severely limit the implementation of a new coal transshipment project in Primorye, according to a representative of VR Logistic. The main ones are: the weak carrying capacity of the railway, the absence of its own base with resources. “It is possible that TOSEI is starting a project with the aim of creating a full-fledged supply chain, similar to the terminals of Vostochny Port (owner - KRU) and Daltransugol (owner - SUEK) and is already negotiating with a number of coal mining companies in the region. to create a resource base for ourselves, ”suggested Alexey Dolmatov.

Evgeny Novosel'tsev, Deputy General Director of JSC "DVNIIMF", in his modal estimate takes into account the stable stable demand in Japan for Russian coal: "All investors who want to enter this regional market have the same problems: relatively low railway capacity, unstable conditions , problems with energy, etc. But if TOSEI has a guaranteed sales market for coal (Japan), and it will be sent in the future through their terminal, the investor's chances are quite good. Primorye is still interesting in connection with the plans of the Japanese to restore the local mines in the Partizansky district. Although I do not presume to judge how this undertaking is feasible. It's hard for me to make forecasts about the world price of coal. But if the market collapses again, the rapid return on investment - almost the size of a billion dollars - will be in question. "

Nikolay Matvienko, a Primorye expert in the field of logistics and transport, is also not inclined to regard TOSEI Co., Ltd's plans to fit into the Far East coal logistics market as utopian: “Is it realistic to build a terminal? Really. In the medium term, prices for energy and chemical raw materials will only grow. True, the operating costs of such terminals will also grow (for the same ecology at least). So the Japanese company has a chance to gain a foothold. Anyone has a chance here. After all, coal is transshipped, for example, by the Vladivostok fishing port ”.

The most pessimistic of the plans of the Japanese to participate in the transportation of coal from the Far East is Yuri Rybalkin, General Director of CJSC Marine Engineering Company: “Taking into account the current global situation and Russian export opportunities, the existing capacities of the Far Eastern ports for transshipment of coal may be increased by 50-60 million tons per year, but for this it is necessary to intensify the work planned by Russian Railways to modernize the Baikal-Amur railway with its possible extension along the coast - to the southern ice-free ports of Primorye.

Without the powerful development and reconstruction of the railway network in the Khabarovsk and Primorsk Territories (for example, the Transsib capacity on the Volochaevka-Ussuriysk section is almost completely exhausted) it will be impossible to develop existing and build new ports. Assessing the real financial and economic situation in the country, as well as the current sanctions, it is difficult to count on a rapid increase in the capacity of railways, and therefore the desire of the Japanese company TOSEI to build a new coal terminal in Primorye may remain only at the level of intentions. "

However, TOSEI Co., Ltd in the construction of a new coal terminal near Nakhodka is ready, follows from the project estimate, invest $ 140 million in the construction and reconstruction of the railway infrastructure.

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