Murmansk Marine Fish Port to become private in less than 2 years

February 14, 2012 10:38

Though OOO Murmansk Marine Fish Port did not go for auction in late September 2011 as was announced earlier, the company will inevitably be sold to private owners until the end of 2013 according to the program on federal property privatization, reports

More specifically, earlier reports said that on 30 September 2011 the port was to be put up sale at auction, namely its 100% shares or 4,752,760 equities in undocumented form at the starting price of RUR 1.15 billion (step - RUR 30 million). Actually, the reason behind the auction's cancellation remain undisclosed, probably the government will appoint new appraisers and lower the starting price.

The port's profit is proportional to its landing turnover. In 2011 the port handled 245,000 MT of cargoes, 36,000 MT down on 2010. Quotas for capture of herring and blue whiting were reduced and some shipowners preferred to land fish in Saint Petersburg where the cargoes were cleared more quickly (though judging by internet reports the landing results in Saint Petersburg were similar to those in Murmansk as the conditions were practically equal). Therefore, Murmansk Marine Fish Port was loaded only at 25% of its capacity and in 2011 it had a loss of RUR 15 million.

At the same time, according to shipowners' applications, landing volumes in 2012 will be higher than in 2011 thus letting the port's authorities hope for improvement in many spheres of the port's operations, social as well. In particular, in the beginning of 2012 the port has been anticipating increased landings of capelin from new season. The fishermen will most probably land capelin to coldstores which are to be 100% loaded. (In 2011 70% of capelin were transported by railway and truck fleet and 30% were loaded to coldstores.)

The port has got a license for handling fish cargoes and all loading operations with seafood cargoes (into railway cars or trucks) can be carried out by the port's dockers as fishermen and buyers have no such rights. Towards higher efficiency the port's berths have been continuously in repair just like carnage and loaders.

As of 1 January 2012 the port has raised its tariffs by 2-5%, but the port's administration does not think that higher charges will raise competitiveness of Petersburg harbor because there coldstorage services are free of charge within the first 5 days, then charges start rising progressively.

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