• 2018 February 1

    Long race

    Reconstruction of Crimean ports under Federal Targeted Programme is postponed for at least two years because of disagreements between Crimean Sea Ports and contractors involved in design and survey work.

    Money dispute

    The works on development of the ports of Crimea foreseen by Federal Targeted Programme “Social and Economic Development of the Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol in 2015–2017” have not been fulfilled. As IAA PortNews was informed by Ruslan Lisovoy, Deputy Director General of SUE Crimean Sea Ports (CSP) for Investments and Implementation of FTP, survey work required for reconstruction of the ports and carried out during the recent three year was acknowledged by CSP as fulfilled partially and not properly. CSP says it should be performed again.

    “The works were executed with major violations. The contractors have not studied the soil, thus the study has not been implemented in full. For example, the documents say there is sandy soil in certain place where stiff bottom is actually observed. The entire scope of design and survey work performed in 2015–2017 should be done over again”, said Ruslan Lisovoy.

    The Arbitration Court is currently considering four complaints of Crimean Sea Ports against two companies involved in those works. Three of them are against the Simferopol based company Proizvodstvenny Kompleks “Pligon”LLC for the total of RUB 343.9 mln and one is against the Saint-Petersburg company Plato Engineering LLC for RUB 97.4 mln. Poligon carried out the survey at the ports of Kerch, Yevpatoria and Yalta, Plato Engineering – in Feodosia.

    Both companies are rooted in Saint-Petersburg business. According to Kartoteka.ru, Plato Engineering is currently owned by Investment Group “Indiga” with Vitaly Yuzhilin as the core owner (99%).  As for Poligon, it was a subsidiary of Plato Engineering when the contracts were signed in 2015.

    Vitaly Yuzhilin is the core owner of Plato Engineering only from December 2017. When the contract was signed in February 2016 the firm was under the ownership of Marina Tarasova, President of Managing Company “Marine Façade”. 

    As Georgy Posvezhinniy, Director General of PK “Poligon” LLC, told IAA PortNews, the complaint of Crimean Sea Ports cannot be actually caused by the quality of works since all design and survey works performed by Poligon were accepted by the customer and approved by Glavgosexpertiza of Russia. Costs reliability is also confirmed by positive conclusion of the state expertise. According to him, Crimean Sea Ports have not paid in full and still owes about RUB 50 mln to Poligon.

    “There is a feeling that those disputes will not be settled over half a year. If Crimean Sea Ports will wait for the decision of the Arbitrage Court, the deadline of FTP implementation in the part of port infrastructure facilities will be missed, — said Georgy Posvezhinniy. – It’s strange that CSP does not take into account the expert conclusions.”

    Plato Engineering says that having obtained the approval of Glavgosexpertiza CSP can start construction and reconstruction of the facilities within the financing foreseen by the FTP. However, CSP unilaterally refused to perform the contracts in the end of 2017, comments the company. 

    Within the legal cases initiated by Crimean Sea Ports the contractors claim the payment for the fulfilled works.
    According to the portal of sate procurement, the CSP and the two companies signed four contracts for RUB 357.7 mln. The value of the cases exceeds that amount as CSP also claims the amount of unjust benefit and the fine for the money usage. 

    The companies were preparing the design and detailed documentation for the reconstruction of passenger and cargo berths, protecting structures and other hydraulic engineering structures for bank protection. 

    The beginning of reconstruction works was scheduled for 2017, but now it is postponed to 2019, says Ruslan Lisovoy. 

    Now, to make the start of reconstruction possible in 2019, CSP should have design and survey works performed again. However, the company cannot just announce new tenders and sign new contracts. First of all, FTP resources allocated for those purposes have been partially spent as payment to previous contractors. Secondly, the company should first win the actions to prove it’s right and to recover the claimed amount. 

    CSP is preparing a new concept for the ports reconstruction. It provides for using the company’s own resources to pay for the design and survey works. CSP is not ready to share the details of the concept since the document has not yet been approved by the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, which is in charge of the Federal Targeted Programme. 

    “If the concept is approved, we will be able to start working at other facilities regardless of the court ruling. Design works will be performed at our own expenses”, said Ruslan Lisovoy.

    Aleksandr Alikin