November 21, 2019 / 10:35 AM / 22 days ago

UPDATE 1-Russia's VTB joins EFKO's project to build Black Sea grain terminal

(Adds details, quotes, context)

MOSCOW, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Russia’s state-controlled VTB has signed an agreement of intent with Russian vegetable oil and mayonnaise producer EFKO to jointly build a grain terminal in the Black Sea port of Taman, VTB said on Thursday.

VTB, Russia’s second largest lender, has become a major physical grain exporter and the largest operator of Russia’s grain export terminals and other infrastructure after buying a local grain trader and several assets in 2019.

VTB and EFKO plan to build infrastructure in Taman port with capacity to handle 12.5 million tonnes of grains and vegetable oil by-products, as well as 3 million tonnes of vegetable oils, VTB said in a statement.

Construction would start in late 2020 and would take one and a half years, EFKO’s executive Sergey Ivanov EFKO told Reuters. It planned to be in charge of the vegetable oil part of the project only and to invest 10 billion roubles ($157 million) in it, a source in EFKO said.

VTB has yet to estimate its part of the potential investment, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

VTB, which is expanding in commodities in a bid to create a national grains champion, said previously it would exit the sector once it built up the assets in the next few years. It is in talks to purchase half of another Taman grain terminal from Ukraine’s Kernel group. ($1 = 63.7855 roubles) (Reporting by Olga Popova; writing by Polina Devitt; editing by Jon Boyle and Edmund Blair)

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