On Saturday morning, December 22, a fire broke out on the trunk of the mine mine “Uralkali” under construction in the Perm region, it was extinguished for more than a day. The fire killed nine people, their bodies were found on Sunday. They were all builders. Nothing has been reported about the causes of the fire yet, the version of methane ignition has not been confirmed. A criminal case was initiated under the article on violation of safety rules during mining or construction work, which resulted in the death of three or more people.
A representative of Uralkali explained that the tragedy occurred at the construction of the fourth trunk for Solikamsk Mine Directorate No. 3. “It was an unfinished construction project, the work on which was performed by the contracting organization of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Construction Management - 30,” he added. As a result of the rescue operation, the work of the whole mine department was suspended, a representative of Uralkali said. When the object returns to work, the representative did not respond.
Uralkali is Russia's largest potash producer and exporter. Production assets of the company include five mines and seven processing plants in the Perm region.
In 2017, the company produced more than 8 million tons of potassium. At the end of 2017, Uralkali's net debt amounted to $ 5.37 billion, its ratio to EBITDA was 4.01. The company's capitalization on the Moscow Stock Exchange on Friday amounted to 242.2 billion rubles.
The fact that a fire occurred at an operating facility greatly aggravates the situation, stresses Elena Sakhnova, head of the department of machine building, transport, infrastructure and chemical industry at VTB Capital. At the mining department number 3, the company mined about 2.5 million tons of potassium per year. Thus, the daily production amounted to about 700,000 tons, the expert expects. If we assume that the facility will be closed even for two weeks - as long as the proceedings and inspections go on - the company will lose about 100,000 tons of production. And this is about $ 30 million of lost revenue and $ 15–18 million of lost EBITDA, ”Sakhnova reports.
The project to expand the mine "Solikamsk-3" involves the restoration of the previously completed part of the trunk number 4 and the completion of its construction, writes "Interfax". As a result, the capacity of the mine should grow by 600,000 tons, and the total project cost was previously estimated by the company at $ 225 million.
In this situation, Uralkali has reputational losses, as the tragedy occurred at its facility, says Denis Frolov, a partner at BMS Law Firm. But the company was not responsible for the lives of employees, because it was not she who was responsible for ensuring their safety at a dangerous facility, she did not hire builders, he stresses. Now, on-site investigative actions will take place, it will be established who was responsible for security at the facility. Depending on the scale of the incident, they can last up to six months, Frolov said.