Velesstroy, a partner of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug authorities, which is actively building social facilities in the Autonomous Okrug, cannot receive billions of rubles from the EuroChem project for the construction of ammonia and urea production in Kingisepp. After the aggravation of the geopolitical situation, according to the builders, the “daughter” of the large Italian company Tecnimont Spa – “MT Russia” – ceased to fulfill its obligations to them and accumulated a huge debt. At the same time, in general, according to Velesstroy, the customer distributed more than 200 billion to finance contractors. Now the courts have already seized the funds on the accounts of MT Russia, and also banned the Bank FC Otkritie from making payments under guarantees issued to secure the obligations of Velesstroy. Builders, however, fear that the Italians, who announced the curtailment of activities in the Russian Federation, may simply no longer have enough assets. In courts, lawyers point to the likely deliberate distortion of financial information and the intensification of lawsuits by partners, while industry professionals see risks for Velesstroy itself, noting sad examples of “financing interruptions” for large projects.
Velesstroy LLC secured 6.2 billion rubles on settlement accounts of MT Russia LLC, a subsidiary of a large Italian company Tecnimont Spa.
The corresponding result was achieved within the framework of two claims of the construction company. In addition, the courts prohibited PJSC Bank Otkritie FC from making payments under the guarantee of the return of the advance payment and the guarantee of performance of obligations issued to secure the obligations of Velesstroy.
As Pravda UrFO found out, the conflict is associated with the construction of ammonia and urea plants in Kingisepp, Leningrad Region, commissioned by EuroChem-North-West-2 LLC (owned by EuroChem, whose beneficiary was previously billionaire Andrey Melnichenko).
“According to the arguments of Velesstroy, the total amount of funding for contractors by the customer amounted to more than 200 billion rubles. After February 2022, the defendant (“MT Russiya.” – Ed.) evaded proper fulfillment of its obligations both under the work contract and in the Kingisepp project, referring to the current geopolitical situation, which led to the fact that the customer terminated an agreement with him <…>. According to Velesstroy’s arguments, the defendant’s receivables for the construction project <…> amount to 6,208,246,876.25 rubles and were formed as a result of the defendant’s improper performance of its obligations,” followed from the position of the company submitted to arbitration.
Velesstroy’s lawyers also emphasized that, in accordance with the organization’s certificate of assets as of June 30, 2022, “his (MT Russia) net current assets amount to 5.9 billion rubles.”
“Taking into account the analysis of data on the financial position of the defendant, the plaintiff believes that the defendant’s property may not be enough to pay off the claims. According to <...> the defendant’s statements <...>, his assets are: accounts receivable in the amount of 100 billion rubles and non-current assets in the amount of 11 billion rubles. In 2021, the value of fixed assets amounted to 97 million rubles, while short-term liabilities amount to more than 100 billion rubles,” said representatives of the construction company.
They also focused on media reports that the Italians intend to curtail their activities in Russia. Thus, in the materials of the claim for 2.2 billion, an excerpt is given that the defendant intends to stop its activities not only in the Kingisepp project, but also in other projects, for example, Amur GCC, where Sibur Holding PJSC and PJSC “Gazprom”.
“The need to change the configuration of the Amur GCC arose due to Western sanctions, which closed access to a number of process equipment devices. The key contractors of the project are Linde and the Italian Technimont. From June, they intend to completely stop the supply of technology, ”the case file is quoted as saying.
In addition, an important circumstance, which indirectly indicates the curtailment of activities, was the intensification of claims against MT Russia. As indicated in the arbitration, in 2019-2021, 7 cases were registered involving a company with Italian roots, and in 2022 – 47 cases, 45 of them registered since March 2022. Also, representatives of Velesstroy accused the former partners of providing false data, with reference to the proceedings.
“Out of court, I settled the dispute with Esta Construction <…>. The amount of claims <…> amounted to more than 1.8 billion rubles. The defendant could not have been unaware of this circumstance, deliberately did not reflect the change in his financial situation. <...> settled another dispute <...> on the claim of JSC GC Electroshield – TM Samara, whose claims amounted to 300 million. Taking into account the settlement of these disputes, the net current assets of the defendant is no more than 3.7 billion rubles. The amount of the plaintiff’s claims <...> is 6.2 billion rubles, ”it was noted in the arbitration.
We emphasize that the court of first instance has already satisfied the claim for the recovery of 2.2 billion from MT Russia in favor of Velesstroy. Now the Moscow Arbitration Court is also considering an application for the recovery of more than 4 billion rubles.
The conflict is also noteworthy in the light of the active work of Velesstroy in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. As the publication said, the companies entrusted the construction of large social facilities in Novy Urengoy, probably with the involvement of federal funds as part of the national project “Education”.
In general, Velesstroy became widely known for its work at oil and gas facilities, and in particular, during the construction of the infrastructure and production facilities of an LNG plant commissioned by Novatek, which was accompanied by mass protests by shift workers. In addition, the company, in courts with the Federal Tax Service, unexpectedly revealed data about a three-story house for Leonid Mikhelson, as described in detail by the publication. Subsequently, Velesstroy began to receive multiple orders from the YNAO authorities for the construction of social facilities.
“Problems with obtaining billions of rubles can affect even such a large business as Velesstroy. We have already seen, using the example of Zabarsky and Mostostroy-12, how problems in one project hit the chain with other obligations, ”the source of the publication on the construction market notes.
We add that earlier Pravda UrFO also reported in detail on a major conflict between Velesstroy and KONAR JSC (Chelyabinsk; part of the KONAR industrial group, which is led by Valery Bondarenko), which ended with a remarkable settlement agreement.
Velesstroy is a large construction company. Previously, federal media linked her with Croatian businessman Mihailo Perencevic. Now, according to the Kontur.Focus system, 99% in LLC belongs to the international company Waveform Investments LTD LLC, whose beneficiaries are Pnp Overseas Investments Limited (Hong Kong) and Kreshimir Filipovich. Since May of this year, according to the database, the main owner of Waveform Investments LTD has become Megapolis-Invest Management Company LLC, whose participants are Sokolov Roman Sergeevich, Kosteeva Tamara Mikhailovna and Korotkov Igor Aleksandrovich.