A deal to build a new grain export terminal on the Pacific coast with a capacity of five million tonnes per year has been signed between the United Grain Co (UGC) and investment group Summa, it said on Tuesday (Nov 22).
The terminal is to be built by 2014 in the deep sea Vostochny port located in the Nakhodka bay, part of the Sea of Japan, and connected to the rest of the country by the Trans-Siberian railway.
The construction of the port is estimated to cost around RUB5 billion (US$160.40 million), the two companies said in separate statements.
Currently Russia has only two ports -- Novorossiisk and Tuapse on the Black Sea -- capable of loading big vessels. A substantial part of grain is exported by small vessels via river ports in Southern Russia.
UGC is participating in building a third deep sea port of Taman on the Black Sea with a capacity of six million tonnes.
Under a draft state programme for agricultural development, Russia's grain exports by 2020 may rise to 41.5 million tonnes from 20-25 million tonnes expected in the current crop year. Asia is one of the prospective destinations.
UGC, which controls one of the two Novorossiisk grain export terminals, has said it plans to raise its capacity by 1.5 million tonnes by 2012 to five million tonnes.
It has said it also examined projects to build a 2.5-million tonne terminal in the far eastern port of Vanino with Basic Element, owned by tycoon Oleg Deripaska and a six-million tonne terminal at the Ust-Luga port on the Baltic Sea.
The fate of these projects remains unclear. "We cannot say that these two projects have been dropped or put on hold," a UGC spokesman said.
Privately-owned Summa Group is involved in various projects ranging from mining to telecoms and it has stakes in both Novorossiisk grain terminals.