KamAZ debt to go directly to ZMZ, Governor Sumin insists

23 June 2009 (11:09)

Governor of Chelyabinsk Region Petr Sumin visited Zlatoust Metallurgical Plant (ZMZ) to evaluate the efficiency of the actions taken by the management to bring the plant back to life. Sumin inspected the first and the third steel-smelting shops that resumed operation a week ago. At the moment, only four out of nine furnaces are operating. The plant’s GD Sergey Khomyanin also invited the Governor to check out the rolling shop. The GD explained the plant would deliver 2,500 tons of ready goods to customers by the end of the month. In July, the shop’s steel output is expected to reach 10,000 tons. Then, in August KamAZ will probably buy a lot of metal goods from ZMZ as well.

‘Things looked quite grim just a few days ago, but now some shops are already working, so you did keep your word. Then, you did start eliminating the wage arrears. The major task now is to keep re-launching the shops, make sure you get enough raw stuff, and pay off the workers’ wages in full. In the long term, you need to think about the future and find an investor. Without some technical upgrades and modernization, the plant won’t be able to work for more than three or four years,’ Sumin said.

Khomyanin said KamAZ had transferred a portion of its debts (21 million RUR) to the plant last week, of which 14.5 million RUR were immediately paid to the workers and the rest was directed to cover current expenses. Another 6 million RUR would be paid to the workers the next day, he said. The spokesperson for the Governor reports, however, that Petr Sumin insisted on Estar’s top executives signing an agreement with KamAZ that provides for direct transferal of the latter’s 293-million-ruble debt directly to ZMZ rather than through Estar. To get such an agreement, the government officials and the plant’s management have to go to Naberezhnye Chelny for negotiations, while Plenipotentiary Representative of Russian Federation President in Ural Federal District Nikolai Vinnichenko will appeal to his Privolzhskiy Federal District’s counterpart Grigory Rapota, asking for support in the talks. All this is expected to help ZMZ overcome their problems and get enough working assets and wage money. The proposed agreement was added to the special protocol that was signed at the end of the meeting.

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