Supervisory Board Considers VEB.RF’s Involvement in Large-scale Projects to Strengthen Russia’s Export Potential
On the agenda: projects for the construction of a mining and smelting facility in the Trans-Baikal Territory and a gas-processing plant in the Amur Region; corporate governance issues.
Opening remarks by Dmitry Medvedev:
At today’s meeting of the Supervisory Board, we will discuss several large-scale projects aimed at developing the Far East, which are strategically significant for the Russian economy and for strengthening Russia’s export potential.
I would like to mention several projects that require substantial investment and are of considerable importance.
The first one is the construction of a mining and smelting facility to develop the Udokan copper deposit in the north of the Trans-Baikal Territory. The Udokan deposit is the largest in Russia. The comprehensive development of the deposit involves building an infrastructure to mine the ore, extract the concentrate and create a high-technology cathode copper production facility. Upon completion of the first project phase, the production capacity is expected to reach 12 million tonnes of ore per year.
The project will be carried out under the Project Financing Factory programme. This is just one of the projects selected for this financing mechanism. A total of about 3 billion US dollars will be invested in the project. Approximately one third of the funds were committed by the project initiator. The rest will come from a syndicate of banks, including VEB.RF.
The project is extremely important for the Trans-Baikal Territory. It will create about 2,000 new jobs. The region is in a very difficult situation, and such ambitious projects are definitely needed to bring in modern job opportunities, change the employment pattern and develop the local economy. It is intended that both infrastructure and service facilities will be constructed. There are plans to use public budget funds to renovate the local airport in addition to the construction of power lines and the implementation of other appropriate measures required for the project’s success.
The second project is the construction of the Amur gas-processing plant in the Svobodny advanced development zone, Amur Region. The new plant is expected to become the world’s largest helium refinery and the world’s second largest gas-processing facility. Its feedstock will be high-quality methane to be supplied from natural gas fields in Eastern Siberia via the Power of Siberia pipeline and converted into added-value gas products. The project will create up to 3,000 new jobs.
The project budget is large, about 19 billion euro. Gazprom’s commitment is one third of the required funds, the rest will be provided by a pool of Russian, Chinese and European lenders. VEB.RF’s commitment is expected to be 1.5 billion euro. Its contribution will help to complete this large-scale project, which is strategically important for the country’s development.
We will also discuss a whole range of corporate issues and several transactions, including a compensation-free transfer by VEB of Sviaz-Bank’s shares to the ownership of the Russian Federation, to the treasury of the Russian Federation.
Established with financial support from VEB, Xelent Data Center has become the first among Saint Petersburg’s commercial data centres to be officially Tier III certified.
The Uptime Institute Tier Standard: Topology is acknowledged worldwide as a benchmark of reliability for data centres and their users. Tier III is an extremely high reliability standard for equipment and infrastructure. Tier III-certified data centres are notable for their concurrently maintainable infrastructure (including the replacement of system components and faulty hardware).
Counting Xelent, only 28 data centres in Russia have Uptime Institute certification. Less than a dozen of them provide services on a commercial basis. Tier III or higher certification is the first thing needed by potential data centre users seeking reliable and uninterrupted operation.
“Developing the digital economy’s nationwide infrastructure is a business priority for us. With a more than 25 per cent market share, Xelent is now the leader in the Saint Petersburg data centre market. This project will help to increase traffic and resource concentration across the country,” VEB.RF’s First Deputy Chairman Nikolay Tsekhomskiy said.
Designed to accommodate more than 70,000 IT equipment units, the data centre ensures smooth IT infrastructure operation for hundreds of Russian companies in such industries as transport, logistics, finance, retail and wholesale, and public institutions. The data centre also houses the equipment of Europe’s largest social media platform. Every day, over 90 million active users send client requests to the company’s servers located at Xelent Data Center.
The project has won numerous awards from reputable expert communities for unique technological solutions, which is indicative of the creation of unique competencies in the country.
Uptime Institute is a world-renowned unbiased certification authority that develops its own reliability standards for data centres. The standards are built on international best practices in the creation and operation of data centres. Unlike other globally recognised certifications, Uptime Institute standards are primarily designed to serve enterprise organisations and protect investment in data centres. This approach makes it possible to set all reliability and security requirements for a future data centre at the design stage and create the optimum operation conditions, thus improving project economics.