21 Oct 2009 10:11

Moscow press review for October 21, 2009

MOSCOW. October 21 (Interfax) - The following is a digest of Moscow newspapers published on October 21. Interfax does not accept liability for information in these stories.


The overall cost of a project on enlarging the capacity of Rosneft's 556-kilometer long oil pipeline running from Vankor to Purpe may reach as much as 120 billion rubles, Alexander Dashevsky, the general director of Vankorneft, a Rosneft subsidiary, said on Tuesday. This is about $4 billion and nearly half of the costs for the construction of a 1,223-kilometer long Nord Stream. The project envisions the enlargement of the pipeline's annual throughput capacity to 33 million tonnes of oil from the current 25 million tonnes ('Pipe of Gold').

Vedomosti has obtained a draft government directive on restoration operations at the Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydropower Plant along with an estimate of the expenses that the plant's owner, RusHydro , will incur in 2009-2013. The plant's restoration will require 40 billion rubles in the next four years, of which 26.9 billion rubles will be spent on the reconstruction and restoration of all the 10 power units. All the 10 turbines for the Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydropower Plant will be manufactured and supplied by Power Machines . Sergei Pikin, the Energy Development Fund director, is of the view that this estimate will be cut by about 20% ('Primary Estimate', see also Kommersant, page 11, 'RusHydro Determines Investments').

The Russian Finance Ministry plans to submit a draft regulation on long-term targeted programs to replace the federal targeted programs by the end of 2009. Long-term programs should account for 70%-80% of the federal budget, and this should be viewed as a strategic goal, said Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin. Alexei Lavrov, the director of a Finance Ministry department, said there is a fundamental difference between federal targeted programs and long-term targeted programs. "As a rule, federal targeted programs imply construction or research and development expenditures that have almost no connection with routine and much bigger expenditures of agencies for the same purposes." As a result, the same expenditures are financed twice ('On the Same Account').


The Inter-Regional Oil and Gas Complex Exchange plans to start trading oil on the domestic market. The exchange intends to involve small companies in the trading, expecting that they would sell about 1 million tonnes of oil a year. However, small oil companies themselves are apparently not prepared yet to enter the exchange (page 11, 'Exchange Needs Small Oil').

Kommersant has learned that Siberian Cement plans to get back a 50-million euro downpayment from Italcementi Group for its Turkish subsidiary Set Cimento. This 600-million euro deal would have doubled Siberian Cement's assets, but the Russian holding withdrew from it in the fall of 2008 because of the crisis. Siberian Cement is currently seeking to have the preliminary deal on purchasing Set Cimento declared null and void by a Russian and a Turkish court (page 9, 'Siberian Cement Recalls Payment').

Lada Service, which owns 76 car sales centers throughout Russia, may lose 12 of them, whose managers or creditors have filed suits with arbitration courts on finding them bankrupt. The entire chain's current debts have amounted to about 4 billion rubles, with Lada sales having dropped by 44%. Avtovaz , which does not rule out that it might launch its own bankruptcy procedures, may try to sell its sales network, whose value has dropped nearly by half to $75 million over the past year, according to experts (page 12, 'Lada Service Going Bankrupt In Parts').

The holders of 1 billion rubles in the default bonds of the alcohol company Gross Plants are making desperate attempts to return their money. Igor Golubenko, the owner of a small stake, is determined to claim the losses directly from Gross Plants' former and current owners by proving in court that they had unlawfully stripped the companies that acted as loan guarantors of their assets. This is the first time that the holders of default bonds are making claims on the issuer's founders (page 12, 'Creditors Personally Bill Vodka Men').