MOSCOW, January 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russian metals and mining giant Mechel has closed a $508 million deal to buy the port of Vanino on the Russian Pacific coast, the company said late on Monday.
“Mechel reports acquiring 55 percent (73.33 percent of common shares) of Vanino Sea Trade Port. The acquisition was made in line with the company’s strategy of developing its mining division in a bid to expand its export capacities and reduce transport costs in line with planned increases in coal mining volumes,” the company said in a statement.
Mechel won the tender for the Vanino port in early December, offering 15.5 billion rubles ($508 million) for the state package compared with the starting price of 1.5 billion rubles.
Mechel CEO Yevgeny Mikhel later said the company had set up a consortium of Russian and foreign companies to participate in the tender but declined to specify the firms.
Port Vanino is located in the Strait of Tartary, between the Pacific Ocean’s Sea of Okhotsk and Sea of Japan. Vanino is the largest transport hub in the Khabarovsk Region and one of Russia’s ten largest ports. It handled some 6 million tons of cargo in 2012.
Vanino handles cargo bound for Russia’s north-east, Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, the United States and other Pacific countries. Navigation at the port is open all year round.
“Vanino is a universal port that fits ideally into the logistics of Mechel’s deliveries to Asia-Pacific. Using its capacities will enable the company to consolidate its position as one of the world’s largest producers of metallurgical coals and significantly expand its customer base,” Mechel said.