Uralchem ​​asked Putin to help export ammonia through Ukraine



Russia will work with the UN on the grain deal extended on November 18 and the issue of resuming the operation of the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline. This was announced on November 23 by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Dmitry Mazepin, chairman of the RSPP Commission on Mineral Fertilizers, co-owner (owns 48%) of Uralchem, the Kremlin press service reports.

Mazepin asked Putin to help the company “as part of a grain deal, temporarily open and provide drainage and transportation of ammonia in Odessa” (a raw material for the production of nitrogen fertilizers. - Vedomosti), which, according to him, “can also go to developing countries, including including Africa. The entrepreneur explained that the American trader Trammo offered to buy ammonia at the border of Russia and Ukraine and pump it further. But Kyiv raised the issue of paying for transit, since, according to the Ukrainian side, “there [у российских и украинских контрагентов] no banking relationship.

“The UN fed us with promises that when a new grain deal is signed, ammonia will be discovered. And today my guys talked to the UN, they were told: “The deal is already connected, sorry,” Mazepin said. “We will also work with the UN, with colleagues from the organization. Let's see what happens. You know my position, I don’t mind, please,” Putin replied to the businessman’s request.

The Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline (2,417 km) built in 1981 comes from the Togliattiazot enterprise (ToAZ, controlled by Uralchem ​​since November 2021). The maximum capacity of the pipe is up to 2.5 million tons per year. Part of the pipeline passes through Ukrainian territory, its final destination is the Odessa port plant, where gas was loaded onto ships and exported. 400,000 tons of demand was previously provided by the Ukrainian concern Stirol, which was stopped since 2014, where a side branch led (located in Gorlovka, on the territory of the DPR that nationalized it).

On November 15, the British Financial Times reported, citing sources, that the West was ready to provide Russia with security guarantees for the resumption of ammonia supplies through the pipeline as part of a grain deal extended on November 18 for another 120 days. In September, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Reuters that he would agree to the launch of the ammonia pipeline if Russia released the Ukrainian military, Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov then ruled out the possibility of such an exchange.

Now two pipeline routes continue to operate, despite the NWO transporting Russian raw materials through Ukraine to Europe. Gazprom continues to reduce supplies to Europe through the gas transmission system of Ukraine (about 42-43 million cubic meters per day). Also, through the territory controlled by Kyiv, there is a supply of Russian oil to Europe.

In principle, nothing prevents the work of the ammonia pipeline from being included in the grain deal, since all parties are interested in resuming transportation, says Andrey Kortunov, director of the Russian International Affairs Council. Russia needs exports, Ukraine needs funds from transit, recipient countries are also interested, he noted. Kortunov added that this is also an issue of global food security, on which the G20 is in solidarity, as shown by the final declaration of the G20 summit in Bali.

But, according to the expert, complications are possible, due to the fact that Kyiv will probably want to link the launch of the ammonia pipeline with bargaining on additional issues not related to the grain deal. For example, we can talk about guarantees for the Ukrainian energy infrastructure, Kortunov believes.

In 2020, a record 2 million tons were transported through the ammonia pipeline. ToAZ did not disclose the pumping volumes in 2021, but reported that ammonia production last year reached a historical maximum of 3.05 million tons (the company’s website says that for export about 85% of production goes away). The Ukrainian section of the pipe is operated by Ukrkhimtransammiak, the Russian part by Transammiak.

In the spring of 2022, 93.8% of Transammiak was acquired by Himaktivinvest, an affiliate of Uralchem. Earlier in 2022, Himaktivinvest consolidated 80.66% of ToAZ. On February 24, in connection with the beginning of the NWO in Ukraine, ToAZ stopped the transit of ammonia through the pipeline and announced the study of railway routes. In June, ToAZ entered into an agreement for the provision of railway shipment management services with the specialized company Uralchem-trans.

Finam FG analyst Aleksey Kalachev notes that until February 24, ToAZ supplied ammonia to Ukraine, Morocco, Turkey, Belgium, India, Tunisia, Greece and Spain. Now the company's reporting is not disclosed, and the Federal Customs Service has ceased to publish data on exports.

Kalachev points out that in the first nine months of 2022, ammonia production in Russia, according to Rosstat, decreased by 14.1% to 12.7 million tons. “These are the same 2 million tons exported by ToAZ,” he notes. . In general, in the country, the production of nitrogen fertilizers in January-September 2022 increased year-on-year by 6.1% to 19.85 million tons.



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