12 Jan 2018 09:23

Gazprombank sets up concession vehicle for rail line to Elga coal field

MOSCOW. Jan 11 (Interfax) - Gazprombank , the Mechel steel and coal group's partner in the Elga coal project, has set up the company JSC Ulak-Concession, data from the SPARK-Interfax system and bank materials show.

Ulak-Concession was registered in Moscow in December 2017 and is wholly owned by Gazprombank's LLC GPB Asset Development.

Gazprombank owns 49% stakes in the operator of the Elga coal deposit and in LLC Elga-Doroga, which owns the Ulak-Elga railway line from Elga to the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM).

Mechel , Gazprombank and Russian Railways (RZD) have been holding negotiations since last year on putting the railway line to Elga under a concession. The line, construction of which cost Mechel 71 billion rubles, was spun off from the Elga project in 2016 with a view to attracting specialized investors. RZD emerged as the only suitor for the rail line, but a deal was not reached to sell it to the company.

As a result, the option of a concession was chosen. Mechel planned to present a private concession initiative for the Elga railway to relevant ministries and the Russian government by the end of the year. Mechel has not commented on the current status of this issue. Gazprombank officials were not available for comment.

The unresolved issue concerning the development of the rail line to Elga is slowing the further development of the deposit.