Uralvagonzavod is trying to solve financial issues at the expense of Gref

Contractors accused UVZ management of dishonesty and disruption of modernization of tank shops
A broken contract for the supply of imported equipment under the federal program for the modernization of defense industry enterprises may cost Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) more than a billion rubles. The Voronezh company Solver, which had previously “knocked out” multimillion-dollar debts from the Rostec structure for the work done and the equipment supplied, filed a lawsuit against the state enterprise. New processing centers were supposed to earn in Nizhny Tagil back in 2018, but completed the contract only two years later. The general contractor speaks of a delay in the supply of equipment by the subcontractor, but in addition, the UVZ itself was not ready for installation. Even after a half-year delay in the implementation of the project, for which the contractor paid a fine of 38 million rubles, the plant was not able to provide a workshop on special topics for the installation and configuration of equipment. Now subordinates of UVZ General Director Alexander Potapov, in addition to penalties and equipment for 900 million rubles, are also trying to get money from Sberbank, which acted as guarantor of the transaction.

NPK Uralvagonzavod JSC (part of Rostec Group of Companies) received a lawsuit to recover debt of more than 1.3 billion rubles. The debt was declared by the Solver Voronezh Engineering Consulting Firm (IKF), which has been cooperating with the state corporation with different efficiency since 2014.

Recall that about five years ago, a contract was signed for the supply and implementation of workshop-level IT solutions. The work was completed, but after a change of leadership UVZ began to ignore the contractor's requirements for paying debts. During the year of Alexander Potapov’s work as director general of UVZ, Solver’s representatives were unable to resolve the conflict and secure pre-trial payments.

Already in April 2018, Solver filed a lawsuit to recover 137 million rubles - 89 million rubles of the main share and penalties. In order to reduce costs during this process, UVZ agreed to a settlement, in which the plaintiff refused to pay fines, and NPK pledged to close the debt until July 2018.

According to the sources of Pravda Ural Federal District, this is most likely a large order for technical re-equipment of workshops within the framework of the federal program for the modernization of the military-industrial complex (MIC), which is already ending in 2020. In response to the request, representatives of Uralvagonzavod did not explain which contract was the reason for the billions of lawsuit.

At the end of December last year, Rostec’s structure in court was able to recover from the ICF about 38 million rubles for failure to meet the deadline for the contract “for the supply of goods for state needs”, signed in December 2017. For 910 million rubles, the contractor was to supply and commission the three turning and milling processing centers. Instead of November 2018, equipment arrived at the plant in May 2019.

According to Pravda, Ural Federal District, the Glavinsnab company was a subcontractor under this agreement, which was not only supposed to bring equipment, but also participate in commissioning. Austrian machining centers arrived in Russia only in December 2018. Due to the lack of a specific delivery address for Glavinsnab in Nizhny Tagil in the contract, foreign equipment was brought only in May last year.
In turn, Solver "tried to get away from fines due to the sluggishness of UVZ specialists." Although the installation was supposed to be carried out as early as 2018, notification of the site’s readiness for equipment installation was received from the Rostec asset only on July 24, 2019 - two months after the shipment of the processing centers.

As of the end of 2019, Solver completed the installation of equipment, thereby fulfilling the contract by 95%. According to a source from Pravda Ural Federal District, who is familiar with the progress of work, “in January, the work was completed in full, but it was most likely impossible to receive payment under the contract. I think that’s why they went to court - the amount is not small, especially taking into account the fact that they advanced “Glavinsnabu” in payment of equipment for about half a billion rubles, ”the source said. Whether the debt for equipment to Glavinsnab in the amount of 248 million rubles was currently paid off, could not be clarified. The subcontractor, in court, did not deny the delivery deadlines, but the amount of fines only slightly exceeded 1 million rubles.

Uralvagonzavod disagrees with the requirements of IKF Solver. The LLC had an objective opportunity to properly fulfill its contractual obligations. Upon receipt of the statement of claim, relevant procedural documents will be prepared and measures will be taken to protect the interests of society in court, ”the press service of the state corporation said.

The NPK specified that they had already brought a number of claims to the contractor related to non-performance and improper performance of contracts. “The follow-up actions of Solver indicate that the method of legal protection chosen by the company is aimed at preventing the satisfaction of the legal requirements of Uralvagonzavod and is a sign of unfair behavior on its part,” representatives of UVZ emphasized.

Currently, in addition to recovering 38 million rubles for the torn delivery time for equipment, UVZ has put forward another 148 million claims to the counterparty (their justification could not be clarified). In addition, the plant asked Sberbank to pay a bank guarantee under a contract for processing centers.

Today, an engineering and consulting company from Voronezh is trying to ensure its financial stability by introducing a ban on bank payments. Last summer, after the expiration of the initial guarantees, Solver signed a new agreement with Sberbank, under which the financial institution claimed responsibility for 182 million rubles.

On the eve of the new year, ICF decided to replace the bank's services with an alternative guarantee of the work. The company, on the basis of one of the clauses of the contract, sent Uralvagonzavod notifications of a decrease in the amount of security in proportion to the cost of fulfilled obligations to 20 million rubles, and also transferred the declared amount to the accounts of the state corporation.
Lawyers insist that the bank guarantee has already lost its security function, since, after receiving the funds, Uralvagonzavod did not dispute the actions stipulated by the contract. “These actions characterize UVZ as an unscrupulous party that intentionally wants to harm the plaintiff, which indicates an obvious deviation from good faith,” describes the actions of the Solver plant.

In court, ICF representatives insisted that the deterioration of their financial situation in the event of obligations to Sberbank could result in suspension of the execution of contracts, including those concluded with Uralvagonzavod. Moreover, the contractor indicates that today it continues to work with the Nizhny Tagil plant "solely on the basis of understanding the importance of fulfilling the state defense order." NPK, for its part, does not transfer sites for equipment installation. This happens in case of technical re-equipment of the transmission workshop, which is also performed by Solver.

Earlier, Pravda Ural Federal District spoke in detail about the problems of UVZ with the technical re-equipment of defense workshops, for which funds were allocated from the federal budget.

Contracts were broken with the original contractors, and new construction companies refuse to cooperate with the plant due to delays in settlements, as well as rush to carry out complex work. Potapov’s subordinates are trying to meet the deadline set by the state until the end of 2020, but market participants say that it is extremely difficult to build and equip complex workshops in less than a year.