10 Dec 2019 18:00

RZD: Fire at TransContainer terminal not a reason to revise asset's sale price

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) - Russian Railways (RZD) is aware of the damage caused by a fire last week at TransContainer's terminal in St. Petersburg but does not consider this a reason to revise the cost of the controlling stake in the company currently being sold to Sergei Shishkarev's and Rosatom's Delo Group, according to RZD deputy head Andrei Starkov.

"First, all the property, including terminal capacity, is insured," Starkov told journalists on the sidelines of a meeting of the commission for oversight of the modernization of transport infrastructure in the Federation Council on Tuesday.

"In this situation we and our colleagues are now trying to assess the potential damage suffered by shipping companies and the freight owners of this operating company that were storing freight there. But I think that this isn't a critical issue that could have some kind of negative influence. The more so since there aren't any judicial bases for changing the price for the sale of TransContainer," he said.

A fire took place at a hangar of the company Logistika-Terminal on the night of December 2-3. It grew to over 10,000 square meters, and some structures fell. Rubber and plywood were being stored there. Two fire trains, 220 people, and 49 pieces of equipment were summoned to fight the blaze.

TransContainer acquired Logistika-Terminal from Global Ports for 1.9 billion rubles in 2018. LT is located in Shushary, 17 kilometers from the Big Port of St. Petersburg. Its capacity is 280,000 TEU, and it has 16,000 square meters of warehouse space and 50 plugs for refrigerated containers. The terminal's main clients are shipping line agents and expeditors.

The terminal resumed work the day after the fire. "Processing capacity with respect to the containers remains at the previous level," the operator said, adding that work is proceeding "in full" and that December's transshipment targets have not changed.

TransContainer will soon come under the control of Shishkarev's Delo Group. At the end of November, his company won an auction for 50% + 2 of the operator's shares held by RZD, offering 60.3 billion rubles. Rosatom has acquired equity in Delo's management company and announced that it intends to develop shipping along the Northern Sea Route (NSR).

On Tuesday, Starkov declined to comment on Rosatom's influence among TransContainer beneficiaries. "We're in the format of discussion with colleagues, but I definitely understand that everything that is done is aimed at the unconditional fulfillment of the president's order in terms of transport indicators. That's the NSR, international transit, and so on. I think we'll find the correct balance here," he said, without providing details.