5 August 2005
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTANNizhnekamskneftekhim To Begin Polyethylene Production
The Nizhnekamskneftekhim (NKNKh) petrochemical company signed an agreement on 2 August with Italy's Tecnimont on the design and delivery of equipment for a new polyethylene plant capable of producing 230,000 tons a year, "Kommersant-Volga-Ural" reported on 5 August.
NKNKh representatives told the daily that the company plans to begin the new $190 million project in September and to finish it within 30 months. NKNKh Strategic Development Board head Valerii Starkov said the company plans to sell polyethylene on the Russian market where the demand has exceeded supply in recent years. In December, NKNKh signed an agreement with the Italian company Basell to purchase a license and documentation to produce different kinds of polyethylene, under which Tecnimont was determined to be a partner to supply NKNKh with equipment. Starkov said NKNKh's own means will be used to finance the project. In Tatarstan, the leading polyethylene manufacturer is Kazanorgsintez, which produces 400,000 tons a year and controls 36.4 percent of Russia's market.
Tatneft Issues Loan To Zenit Bank
Shareholders of the Zenit Bank have approved an agreement to provide a subordinated 1.7 billion ruble ($59.5 million) loan to the bank from Tatneft, "Kommersant-Volga-Ural" reported on 5 August.
The loan is for seven years at just under 8.5 percent annual interest. Zenit spokesman Filipp Borisov said that the loan was sought to increase the bank's own capital, which allows it to "hold a more active credit policy." Aton company credit analyst Aleksei Bulgakov commented that the bank will likely issue bonds soon and will allocate any money obtained to finance construction of a new complex in Tuben Kama.
On 26 July, the Tatneft Board of Directors passed a plan to construct an oil refinery in Tuben Kazan producing aromatic substances and capable of processing 7 million tons of oil a year; a deep oil processing plant capable of refining 3.5 million tons of oil a year, and a petrochemical plant able to produce 900,000 tons of substances from aromatic hydrocarbons. The Zenit Bank also became a financial consultant in developing a scheme to finance the project.
Russian Government To Sell Its Share In KamAZ
Russian Economic Development Minister German Gref said at a government meeting on 4 August that a special government resolution will be passed to determine the terms of privatization of the KamAZ automotive concern, RIA-Novosti reported the same day.
KamAZ has been included in the 2006 privatization plan under which a state-owned 34 percent's stake of the concern will be sold. Gref said the government consider it necessary "to help the company, which became dynamic recently, obtain an investment resource." He added: "We don't aim to earn money through this venture, our major aim is to increase its liquidity."
Education Ministry Signs Agreement With Microsoft
Tatar Education and Science Minister Reis Sheikhelislamov and the head of Microsoft in Russia and the CIS, Olga Dergunova, signed a strategic agreement on 4 August on cooperation in developing modern information technologies in the education sector, Tatar-inform reported the same day.
Under the document, 40 percent of Tatarstan's secondary school teachers will be trained to use computers and utilize them in the teaching process over the next three years. The project will be implemented in Kazan, Chally, Tuben Kama, and Elmet. Cooperation will be developed under the international noncommercial educational initiative called Microsoft Partners in Learning. Tatarstan became the fifth region to be included in the joint project between the Russian Education and Science Ministry and Microsoft.
Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova
DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTANConstitutional Court Rejects Claim Against Baikonur Case Ruling
Russia's Constitutional Court rejected a claim by Bashkortostan's government and its representatives in the Russian Federation Council who dispute a 2001 resolution by the federal cabinet abolishing the offshore status of Russian petrochemical companies registered in Kazakhstan's Baikonur free economic zone, Interfax-AFI reported on 4 August.
The resolution followed an investigation by federal tax authorities that revealed tax-evasion schemes by companies with their legal address in Baikonur despite being located in Russia. As a result, Bashkir petrochemical companies owed some $200 million in back taxes to the federal budget.
Moscow, Ufa Reach Agreement On Managing Mineral Resources
A recently signed agreement between the federal agency of mineral resources and Bashkortostan's government focuses on ending the practice of double standards and elaborates a single approach towards the use of mineral wealth, annews.ru reported on 4 August. The framework agreement is reportedly a compromise between Moscow, which in 2002 pressured Bashkortostan to hand over the exclusive ownership of mineral wealth, and Ufa, which as a result halted its funding of geological research. According to the news agency, the agreement expresses Moscow's will to settle the issue with the republic under the condition of "having Bashkortostan more open to Moscow investors."
Compiled by Iskender Nurmi