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Murmansk Port gets new owners

Murmansk Commercial Sea Port is now fully privatized. Photo: Trude Pettersen

Murmansk Commercial Sea Port will be divided between two owners – Eurochem and Siberian Coal Energy Company. Owner of both companies is businessman and billionaire Andrey Melnichenko.

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The Federal Antimonopoly Agency has approved Eurochem’s purchase of 49,99 percent of the shares in Murmansk Commercial Sea Port. The company plans to increase transport of iron ore concentrate along the Northern Sea Route. 

Eurochem plans to increase production of apatite and iron ore concentrate from Kovdor Mining and Metallurgy plant in the coming years, and status as stock holder of the port will secure transport of the products out from Murmansk, the company believes. 

Eurochem uses the Northern Sea Route for transport of iron ore concentrate to China, which makes having permanent port facilities in Murmansk very lucrative. This summer the two vessels “Nordic Odyssey” and “Nordic Orion” transported more than 262.000 tons of iron ore concentrate to China. The amount will probably increase considerably in the near future. Eurochem plans to improve the port’s capacities through modernizations.

Eurochem is buying shares in the port from Alfa Capital, Montague Management and Roman Capital Holdings, Kommersant reports.

The other main stake holder in Murmansk Commercial Sea Port is Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK), who uses the port of Murmansk for shipment of coal from the South Urals and southwestern Siberia. SUEK and Alfa Capital bought the state’s 25 percent share of the port in October.

SUEK and Eurochem are owned by the same person, Russian businessman Andrey Melnichenko. With a personal wealth of $10.8 billion in 2012 he ranked number 81 in the Forbes World’s billionaires list (in Russia – number 11), according to Wikipedia.

Murmansk Commercial Sea Port is leading in Russia when it comes to dry cargo turnover. In the first eleven months of 2012 cargo turnover amounted to 15,24 million tons. 76 percent of this was coal.