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Foreign investors wanted for $530m Far East coal terminal

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Russia   Vostochny Port in Primorsky region

RDIF, the Russian sovereign fund, is eyeing a stake in the 20m-ton port facility as it bets on expanding trade in the Asia-Pacific region.

The state-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has announced a potential equity injection in the North coal terminal construction project of Vostochny Port, which is located in Russia's Primorsky region.

RDIF will also help enlist "leading international investors" as co-sponsors of the scheme, according to an agreement signed this week at the Russia-led Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. The project is being marshalled by Primorneftegazprom, an entity managed by domestic energy and engineering conglomerate Summa Group.

The port will be invested in from the federal budget and private investors, including Summa Group and the China Bank of Development.

"Vostochny port is essential in connecting one of Russia's most important railroads with sea routes to leading Asia-Pacific countries. It has the potential to become a major transport link within Russia's Far East region," said Kirill Dmitriev, RDIF chief executive.

The coal terminal, which is expected to have an eventual capacity of about 20 million tons per year, will be used for the transhipment of Russian coal exports to countries in the Asia-Pacific region. It is due to open in 2018 with an initial yearly capacity of 7 million tons.

"We must strengthen the position of Russian coal in international markets, including the promising Asia-Pacific region," said Ziyavudin Magomedov, chairman of Summa Group, in the statement. "The planned 'equal access' terminal will be specifically aimed at servicing small and medium-sized coal mining companies that lack their own transhipment facilities."

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