The FAS sided with Rostec, which complained about additional requirements for bidders during the auction for the Bogatyr coal deposit. The state corporation did not agree with the conditions that oblige, among other things, to build bulk carriers for transporting coal at Russian shipyards. The Antimonopoly Service ordered to cancel the bids and set new terms for the auction.
The FAS recognized the complaint of the Rostec structure, RT-Bogatyr, against the actions of Rosnedr during the auction for the Bogatyr coal site, as justified, according to the decision and order of the antimonopoly service, which Kommersant got acquainted with. In the opinion of the service, the established special conditions contradict the law on subsoil. The regulator issued an order to Rosnedra to cancel the minutes of the meeting of the working group on opening envelopes with applications for participation in the auction and set a new deadline for their submission, as well as a new deadline for the auction itself, which was to be held on June 11.
Recall that applications for the auction were submitted by RT-Bogatyr, Colestar of Eduard Khudainatov, the Antares company belonging to him and Igor Markanov’s little-known Tashebinsky open pit mine, registered in Khakassia, where Colestar’s coal assets are located. Kommersant sent inquiries to Rosnedra, FAS and Rostec.
The FAS also ordered a number of changes to be made to the procedure and conditions for the auction.
According to the rules established by Rosnedra, those wishing to take part had to make a deposit of 1.5 billion rubles.
There were additional conditions:
- First, a guarantee of transportation of at least 10 million tons of mined coal per year by rail along the Berdsk-Novoaltaisk branch, adjacent to the Trans-Siberian Railway;
- The second is the construction of at least five large-tonnage specialized ships for the export of coal. The ships must be built at Russian shipyards and put into operation by the time of the start of commercial coal mining;
- Finally, the winner of the auction must not be an offshore company, and its founders or beneficiaries must be tax residents of the Russian Federation.
The structure of “Rostec” believes that additional conditions were established by Rosnedra in violation of the current legislation. According to the state corporation, in fact, under the guise of an auction, a competition is being held, which limits the list of potential participants. The auction is won by the company that offered the highest price, while the winner of the competition is determined taking into account a number of conditions. Rosnedra explained to the FAS that the additional conditions are aimed at the implementation of state programs and instructions for the development of railway infrastructure in the eastern direction, the development of shipbuilding and deoffshorization of the Russian economy. The criterion for identifying the winner, Rosnedra explained, is the size of the payment, so the complaint about holding a tender under the guise of an auction is unfounded.
However, according to the FAS, the requirements for the winner of the auction in the form of ensuring the export of coal and the construction of ships may contain signs of unreasonable restriction of access to the auction.
In addition, the subsoil law does not require that the winners of the auctions are not offshore companies, and that their founders are tax residents of the Russian Federation. In this part, Rosnedra violated the law on subsoil, according to the FAS.
The decision of the service is the next stage of the struggle for Bogatyr between Colestar and Rostec. So, it was the general director of Colestar, Boris Varshavsky, who in August 2020 proposed to President Vladimir Putin to include the construction of at least ten ships among the conditions of the auction for Bogatyr.
Rostec, for its part, may be interested in the deposit for its subsequent transfer to Sibanthracite, the only large coal company currently operating in the Novosibirsk region. Sibanthracite, which was also interested in the terms of this auction, may soon be acquired by Albert Avdolyan’s A-Property. Rostec has a long-standing partnership with A-Property. In particular, Albert Avdolyan’s company sold to Rostec 5% of the largest coking coal deposit in the Russian Federation – Elginsky. In a June interview with RBC, the head of the state corporation Sergei Chemezov admitted the possibility of partnership with Albert Avdolyan when purchasing Sibanthracite.