2016 deal puts a value on Murmansk port

By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer - February 10, 2017
The Murmansk Port. (Atle Staalesen / The Independent Barents Observer)
The Murmansk Port. (Atle Staalesen / The Independent Barents Observer)

Fertilisers producer Eurochem late 2016 sold a 25 percent stake in the Murmansk Commercial Sea Port to SUEK, the coal company.

That deal is worth 8.74 billion rubles ($143 million), TASS reports. A total of 5.12 billion rubles was transferred in December and the remaining part in January 2017, the news agency informs.

Sources in Eurochem says to the news agency that the Murmansk deal reflects the port’s market price.

That would indicate that the current total value of the whole Murmansk port is about $572 million.

Both Eurochem and SUEK are owned by Andrey Melnichenko, the business tycoon ranked as Russia’s 11th richest man. In 2016, he had personal wealth of $13.4 billion, figures from Forbes indicate.

The recent deal keeps the businessman in full control of the key infrastructure object.

Melnichenko has for years been a powerful man in Murmansk. In 2001, he bought the Kovdor Mining Plant, today Russia’s second biggest producer of apatite concentrate.

In late 2012, Eurochem bought 47.67 percent of the Murmansk Sea Port. That same year, SUEK, the coal company, acquired another major stake.

While Eurochem uses the Murmansk port for out-shipments of fertilisers and ore from Kovdor, SUEK exports major volumes of coal from site. In 2016, the coal company exported 14 million tons of coal from Murmansk, which was more than 90 percent of total port turnover.

Andrey Melnichenko controls more than 90 percent of both Eurochem and SUEK. He recently bought a €417 billion yacht, a 142-meter-long, 24-meter-wide ship with masts as high as 100 meters.