Lev Kuznetsov, governor of the Krasnoyarsk Region, asked deputy prime-minister Igor Sechin to keep lower rates on shipping oil by rail until 2013, which enables Uyar oil terminal to prolong contract with energy firm Rosneft.
Kuznetsov writes in a memorandum that it is important for the region to save Uyar oil loading station, controlled by Grigory Berezkin. Rosneft is the only customer of Uyar with annual volume of oil transit of 5.9m tonn. If Rosneft loads the oil through Transneft's Meget oil loading station in the Irkutsk Region, the costs will be RuR 3b ($120m) higher, taking into account current rates of railway transportation.
The governor considers it sensible to prolong the oil loading agreement between Uyar station and Rosneft until the launch of East-Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline (VSTO-2). He asked the FST, federal tariff and rate service, «to consider the possibility of retaining current exeptional railway freigh charges for Uyar station».
Launched in 2006, Uyar loading station has the capacity of 9.7m tons per year. It is controlled by Oil Conveyance company, owned by Grigory Berezkin’s ESN Group. The station operates oil dispensing from the pipeline to tank cars. The station can supply oil for all oil refineries in the Far East - Komsomolsky (Rosneft), Khabarovsky (Alliance), Vaninsky (Transbunker), but works exclusively with Rosneft. For the whole operational period, dispensing volume of the station made up 30m tonns.
Uyar loading station is still afloat, thanks for the efforts of the shareholders (ESN Group). In mid 2000s Grigory Berezkin was in time to offer his service for implementing the contract between Rosneft and Chinese CNPC. But after Skovorodino-Mohe pipeline was launched, Uyar terminal was out of use. Transneft stopped operating it, but the contract with Oil Conveyance company was prolonged until 2011, but with lower price.
Transneft and Rosneft declined to comment. A source in Trasneft said the company considers the proposals of the governor “very arguable”. “It is clearly in Berezkin’s interest to keep Uyar afloat - he has been profiting from the station for a couple of years. He plays a con trick and presents the situation as if Uyar was Pikalevo [a town in Russia, where people protested in the streets against closure of the only industy in 2009 - The Russian Mafia, rumafia.com]. It is 5 times cheaper to use Meget, compared to Uyar. The memorandum is an attempt to put pressure on business by administrative control and threat of social unrest. The issues of economic sensibility are the ones which only the company could deal with”. A spokesman of ESN Group said: “the governor's interest is understandible, because working station means hundred of jobs and taxes for local budget”.