PJSC "Mechel" is considering the sale of the port "Kambarka"

But plans to develop a logistics center in Udmurtia remain in place.
Mechel is ready to sell the Kambarka port on the condition of a profitable commercial offer, but the issue of sale is not a priority, and the company will continue investing in its development. Earlier it was reported about plans to create a logistics center on the basis of the port, the government of Udmurtia expressed its interest in the project. Experts agree that a logistics center based on the port should be a profiled investor interested in developing the port infrastructure.

PJSC Mechel is considering the sale of the Kambarka port. The general director of the company Oleg Korzhov announced this at a meeting of shareholders of the company. In addition to the local port, the company plans to sell Yuzhuralnickel and Moskoks. At the request of "Udmurtia" in the company explained that the sale of the port is not a matter of paramount importance. "The transport facility is built into the logistics flows of the group and provides freight forwarding services to third-party customers. In "Mechel" are ready to consider this issue in case of obtaining a really profitable commercial offer, "the press service of the company informed. In addition, plans for the development of the port remain in place, confirmed in the company.

JSC Port Kambarka is 90.36% owned by PJSC Mechel. The port carries out loading and unloading operations, extraction of non-building materials and other minerals. According to the annual report, Port Kambarka JSC handles 1 million tons. cargo. The largest proportion of recycled cargo is crushed stone - 54%. Peak cargo turnover of the port reached 6 million tons. At the end of 2017, the AO declared a net loss of 69.15 million rubles. The net asset value of the company at the end of 2017 was negative, reaching 340, 32 million rubles.

The company Mechel acquired JSC Port Kambarka in 2005. The transaction amounted to 97 million rubles. The company planned to develop its own transport infrastructure and reduce the cost of transportation and handling of goods. The port is one of the largest in the Kama river basin. Through the port, deliveries are made to Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria and further to Central and Western Europe. Since the purchase of the transport asset, the Mechel Group has invested more than 100 million rubles. in the reconstruction of access roads. In January this year, the republican authorities announced their intention to cooperate with the Mechel Group in creating a logistics center in the format of public-private partnership.

Mechel's decision to sell the port could be affected by the deterioration of financial and operational indicators. As explained by "Udmurtia" junior partner of the practice of "Strategy and operational efficiency" JSC NEO Center "Sergei Demin, most of the proceeds of the port in 2016 accounted for the transfer of rubble, which was associated with the construction of bridges across the rivers Kamu and Bui. The concessionaire in the construction of bridges was the Regional Investment Company. "After the introduction of bridges in operation in 2017, the volume of transshipment of building materials and gravel fell more than 3 times. To fill such volumes of the company in full it was not possible. In this regard, the port's revenues decreased by 50%, "explained Sergey Demin. According to the interlocutor, in the current conditions the facility does not look investment-attractive. "PJSC" Mechel "is currently actively looking for ways to reduce its own debt burden, and the development of a loss-making port is difficult to fit into the current strategy of the holding. There is a high probability that the government of the republic will find a common language with the new owner of the port, "the expert added.

The development of the port in the format of a logistics center, in the opinion of Sergey Demin, can increase the traffic flow through the bridge crossings and reduce payments for the concession from the budget of Udmurtia. "According to the concession agreement for the construction of all the same bridges, the government of the republic is obliged to pay the concessionaire about 400 million rubles. in a year for their insufficient loading by cargo transport ", - Sergey Demin noted.

According to industrial expert Leonid Khazanov, it is possible to change the financial position of Kambarka port due to large investments in expanding infrastructure and increasing demand for transshipment in the region. "This is possible due to an increase in the pace of housing construction or the organization of new enterprises. Otherwise, capital investments will be meaningless, "Mr. Khazanov noted. At the same time, the expert noted that the financial position of Mechel has now improved, but it is more profitable for the company to sell the asset than to continue to support it at its own expense amid the growing unprofitability of the latter.

Leading analyst "Opening Broker" Andrey Kochetkov believes that the port "Kambarka" may be interested in specialized transport companies that can turn it into a more demanded logistics center. "For this, it is necessary to diversify and increase the volumes of cargo handling, which for Udmurtia can be a difficult task. In any case, the buyer of the port should be a company that will use it for a significant part of the opportunities, "the expert said.

Executive Director of the ANO National Center for PPPs Maxim Tkachenko does not exclude the possibility of developing the port through the use of PPP mechanisms in the event of its sale. "The issue of involving in the project all the necessary property complex, for example, mooring walls, new land plots owned by the region, is still on the agenda," Mr. Tkachenko added. According to the expert, the concession model can be a solution in case the investor is interested in the development of the port infrastructure.