UralChem unable to sell Riga terminal to Swiss trader - co-owner
MOSCOW. Nov 23 (Interfax) - UralChem was unable to sell a fertilizer transshipment terminal at the port of Riga to an unnamed Swiss trader owing to opposition from the Latvian authorities, Dmitry Mazepin, co-owner of UralChem, said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mazepin said that the Latvian side did not allow the new owner of the terminal to enter into possession during the six months after the conclusion of the transaction. "They honestly told us that we could appeal to the Latvian courts. We appealed to the Latvian courts, and the courts did not take the matter under consideration. The Swiss trader wanted to take possession for half a year, but could not. Four weeks ago, they backed out of the deal and returned the documents to us, because they could not actually purchase it [the terminal in Riga]," he said.
Mazepin specified that UralChem was ready to sell the terminal for the same amount of 42 million euros that it had invested in its construction, and agreed to the Latvian side freezing the money.
The Riga terminal has capacity to transship two million tonnes of bulk fertilizer per year, and has been operating since 2013. UralChem has a stake of 51% in the terminal, and Riga Commercial Port (RTO) has a stake of 49%.
UralChem also owns a controlling stake in the Ventamonjaks terminal in Ventspils, which is the largest terminal on the Baltic Sea for transshipping liquid ammonia, and it has annual capacity of one million tonnes.
The terminals ceased operations after the European Union had imposed sanctions against Mazepin in March this year.