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Russian space agency owes $312 mln to contractor firm for Vostochny spaceport construction

August 07, 2015, 16:33 UTC+3 KHABAROVSK
Other companies and organizations owe another $234 million to the company
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© TASS/Igor Ageenko

KHABAROVSK, August 7. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) acting as the state customer for the Vostochny spaceport construction in the Far East owes 20 billion rubles ($312 million) to Dalspetsstroy federal contractor firm, Company CEO Yuri Volkodav said on Friday.

Other companies and organizations owe another 15 billion rubles ($234 million) to Dalspetsstroy, which is the Far Eastern branch of Russia’s Federal Agency for Special Construction, the company’s head said.

"We’re owed about 15 billion rubles. Aside from this, the customer owes us 20 billion rubles for the Vostochny spaceport construction, which brings the total debt to 35 billion rubles," Volkodav said.

"Meanwhile, counterparties’ claims to Dalspetsstroy equal 2 billion rubles [$31 million] and the sum of 350 million rubles [$5.5 million] is the amount that has been acknowledged by courts, which have issued execution writs, with which we’re working," the Dalspetsstroy head said at a news conference in Khabarovsk.

Dalspetsstroy has spent a lot of circulating assets and borrowings on the Vostochny cosmodrome construction, he said.

"We took out loans and in 2014 we were financed in the amount of 2.4 billion rubles [$37 million] for the Vostochny spaceport but our expenses on wage payments alone amounted to over 3 billion rubles [$47 million]," the Dalspetsstroy head said.

Moreover, Roscosmos’s financing for the Vostochny spaceport construction has been transferred to special accounts within the Federal Treasury and currently cannot be used to cover the general contractor’s financial obligations, Volkodav said.

"As a result, we have been confronted with a gigantic cash shortage, which we have almost overcome," the Dalspetsstroy head said.

Dalspetsstroy’s debtors include Stroygazconsulting, which owes 1.8 billion rubles ($28 million), small construction firms with their debts of about 1 billion rubles ($15.5 million) and the Pacific Bridge-Building Company (TMK) with liabilities of 4.5 billion rubles ($70 million), he said.

"We have now received a court ruling on TMK and will have our bankruptcy manager there after August 13. We’ll discuss how to recover the debt and sell the property," Volkodav said.

Russian investigators have opened a criminal probe against TMK ex-director Viktor Grebnev. He is accused of the abuse of office and large-scale fraud in the amount of over 400 million rubles ($6 million).

Grebnev, who is currently under house arrest, was dismissed in April from the post of acting head of the Industry and Transport Department of the Primorye Territory. The TMK new head has also been placed under arrest.

Russian prosecutors expose $130 mln theft at Vostochny cosmodrome

Russian prosecutors have exposed thefts worth 7.5 billion rubles ($130 million) at the construction site of the Vostochny spaceport in the Far East, Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika said at a board meeting of the Prosecutor-General’s Office in late July.

Russia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office checked 250 firms engaged in the cosmodrome’s construction for their compliance with the legislation, Chaika said.

"Prosecutors have established the facts of theft that have caused damage worth almost 7.5 billion rubles," Chaika said.

A scandal erupted at the Vostochny construction site in late March over delays in wage payments to workers of Stroiindustriya-S contractor firm.

Stroiindustria General Director Sergei Terentyev was arrested on April 21 over the firm’s wage arrears. Following Terentyev’s arrest, prosecutors also arrested Pacific Bridge-Building Company Head Igor Nesterenko and DSS Ltd CEO Roman Suvorov also for their failure to pay timely wages to construction workers.

The Vostochny (Eastern) spaceport is being built near the town of Uglegorsk in the Amur Region. The spaceport, which has been under construction since 2010, is scheduled to be built by November 30, 2015.

The Vostochny cosmodrome will comprise two launch platforms, an airfield, facilities for crew members’ pre-launch preparation, oxygen-nitrogen and hydrogen plants, 115 kilometers of roadway and 125 kilometers of rail track.

Vostochny will be Russia’s first national civilian cosmodrome to ensure the country’s full access to outer space.

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