Taman Port To Be Offered To Kazakhstan In Bid To Divert Cargo Traffic From Ukrainian Ports

Russia is trying to find new investors in the construction of the Taman port, the infrastructure which is lacking about RUB 40 billion (USD 1.2 billion) in investments. It is considering participation of the Kazakh companies that are currently transshipping cargo through Ukraine and the Baltic in the project, writes Kommersant.

August 20, President Vladimir Putin held a meeting on development of the ports in Azov-Black Sea basin, during which the issue of development of the Taman port was also raised. It was decided that a proposal to the Kazakh companies to join the project would be discussed after this meeting.

"The Taman port could be of interest to Kazakh companies as an alternative to Ukrainian and Baltic ports in terms of reducing their transport costs," said one of the sources of the newspaper.

The Transport Ministry confirmed that participation of the Kazakh companies "as investors in the port is possible," but "concrete talks" have not yet begun. According to the ministry, Kazakh producers of “petroleum products and sulfur” may show the biggest interest.

The sources said that the Kazakh companies would primarily be asked to build terminals for transshipment petroleum products, liquefied petroleum gases, metals, grain, and sulfur at the port. In addition, they can participate in concessions for construction of the port’s federally owned facilities (berths, a passage canal, etc.) to cover the shortage of funds from the budget. Kazakh companies could also be involved in the construction of the railway infrastructure leading to the port.

The Kazakh investors have not been determined, but the country's largest oil company KazMunaiGas, the steel companies Kazakhmys, ENRC, and ArcelorMittal Temirtau may participate in the project. Grain companies may also have large cargo traffic, particularly the companies owned by the Kazakhstan Grain Association’s head Nurlan Tleubaev and Ivolga Holding.

The Taman port is expected to go into operation in 2018 and reach cargo traffic of more than 90 million tons per year by 2020. The port will be managed by RMP Taman, in which Rosmorport will receive 75% and the Krasnodar region 25%. The total cost of the port is about RUB 228 billion (USD 6.9 billion). UCL Holding, Global Ports, SUEK, Metalloinvest, Kuzbassrazrezugol, Yevrokhim, Rusal, and Uralkaly have already expressed interest in the port and negotiations are underway with Gazprom Export.

Adapted from cfts.org.ua