Mechel Acquires Controlling Stake in Vanino Seaport

Mechel yesterdey reported on the acquisition of the 55% (73.33% of common shares) of Vanino Sea Trade Port. The acquisition was made in line with the company’s strategy of developing its mining division in a bid to expand its export capacities and reduce transport costs in line with planned increases in coal mining volumes.

On December 29, 2012, the Government of the Russian Federation issued the decree #2608-r with respect to the disposal of federally owned shares of Vanino Sea Trade Port (55% of share capital / 73.33% of common shares) whereby the buyer and the cost of the share package were confirmed. Mechel logistics subsidiary Mecheltrans was confirmed as the buyer. The sum of the transaction totalled some 15.5 billion rubles. Earlier Mecheltrans won the auction for the port’s controlling stake, which was held on December 7, 2012. 

Port Vanino is located in naturally deep Vanina Bay in the Strait of Tartary which links the Pacific Ocean’s Sea of Okhotsk and Sea of Japan. Vanino is the largest transport hub in the Khabarovsk Region and one of Russia’s ten largest ports. Its cargo turnover in 2012 totalled some 6 million tonnes. Vanino handles cargo bound for Russia’s North-East, Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, the United States and other Pacific states. Navigation at the port is open year round. Vanino is a universal port that fits ideally into the logistics of Mechel’s deliveries to Asia Pacific. Using its capacities will enable the company to consolidate its position as one of the world’s largest producers of metallurgical coals and significantly expand its customer base.

Port Vanino can process vessels up to 45,000 tonnes deadweight. Its infrastructure comprises 16 berths, storehouses and open storage space. Vanino is equipped with 64 cranes of 6 to 100 tonne hoisting capacity. The port also has a specialized container terminal. Open storage space totals 160,000 square meters, with usable storehouse area of some 37,000 square meters. Besides coal, the port can also handle ferrous and non-ferrous metals, ferroalloys, timber, mineral fertilizers, alumina, containers and other cargo.

“By gaining access to Port Vanino’s transhipment capacities, Mechel significantly expands its export capacities to Asia Pacific. Port Vanino is located only some 1,500 kilometers away from the company’s Yakutia coal assets. Port Vanino’s operations will indisputably improve our ability to manage the logistics of our deliveries, expand the range of our exports due to greater storage capacity and minimize our dependency on transport markets.

“The fact that Port Vanino’s coal transhipment capacities may be increased as early as in 2013 to 7 million tonnes a year at little expense and without any significant reconstruction of its facilities, gives us the chance of greatly reducing investment costs for construction of our own terminal at Vanino in the next 3-5 years.

“I would like to note separately that as a result of this transaction Mechel will ensure guaranteed sales volumes of the group’s coal products, including those produced at the Elga deposit,” Mechel OAO’s Chief Executive Officer Evgeny Mikhel commented.

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