Hekotek to sign new contracts in Siberia
18 February 2015
Autumn 2015 the number of pellet producers in Siberia will significantly increase - with three new pellet mills to be put into operation in the Irkutsk region.
As practice of previous crises showed those who make thought-out and well planned investments despite obvious risks and wait-and-see approach of the rest players in the market, inevitably win.
DECISION TAKEN IN TIME
Just over a year ago when the next oncoming crisis was intensively discussed, Lesresusr Ltd. (owner of a sawmill in Novaya Igirma village) signed a contract on delivery of equipment for a new pellet mill. Today Siberian pellets have been exporting to Europe (the main consumer of Russian pellets so far) for several months already.
The present situation in the currency market significantly assist exporters, as export prices in foreign currencies does not depend on the ruble currency rate, whereas production and transportation costs for Siberian producer-exporter remain in rubles. Traditionally over a half of export prices on Siberian pellets fell on logistics. Today despite increased railroad rates, exporting pellets is even more profitable as it seemed and was calculated under signing the contract. The producer is pleased as well as pellet buyers, as equipment of the new mill allows not just producing high quality pellets. At the same time it ensures uninterrupted operation of the mill, which is extremely important, as not only product quality, but continuity of supply as well form reputation of a producer as a reliable supplier.
The delivery of the whole complex of equipment was provided by Estonian company – Hekotek. High capacity CPM press (up to 5 t/h), drum drier for sawdust (waste wood furnace) and Hekotek conveyor system ensure production capacity of at least 30 th. ton of pellets per year. Besides, within designing of the mill there was considered a possibility of construction the second pelleting line, which allows doubling the mill production capacity.
The mill launched, it allows cost-effectively processing by-products (sawdust and partly chips) left from sawmilling at Lesresurs Ltd. Irkutsk region is one of the Russian regions with pulpchip processing being a bottle neck. The reason is that the price level affordable for local pulp-and-paper mills is rather low (even lower than, for example, in the north-west of the country). That is why sawmills refuse to deliver chips at pulp-and-paper mills. Thus, from a valuable raw material pulpchips turn into wastes and properly speaking a headache for sawmills’ owners. Besides, nobody rejects the issue of chips utilization - the law forbids delivering them to dumps and they cannot be piled on sawmill site as there is not only enough space for that, but it can be simply dangerous because of high self-inflammability of chips.
So, not without positive experience of Lesresurs Ltd., especially with regard to present currency situation, almost simultaneously several sawmills of the region considered a possibility to construct a pellet mill.
Thus, in December 2014 – January 2015 Hekotek signed 3 contracts on complex pellet mills delivery to the Irkutsk region. There will be constructed a pellet mill with capacity reaching 30 th. ton of pellets for Rusforest Magistralny (Magistralny village) and two pellet mills for Sibirskye Toplivnye Granuly (a member of Russian Forest Group) that will be installed on the sites of Novaya Igirma (Novaya Igirma village) and TSLK (Ust-Kut) with annual capacities making up 110-115 th. ton and 75-85 th. ton respectively. The complex of machinery for each mill will include CPM presses (The Netherlands) as well as own equipment of Hekotek.
SUPPLY OF PELLETS - MORE PRACTICAL APPROACH
Each pellet mill will be constructed with regard to individual requirements of customers. For example, at mills for Russian Forest Group pellets will be shipped directly into containers (20 and 40 ft) that are to be loaded into railroad platforms and then transported at vessels. Today railroad transport is the only possible alternative for delivering pellets from Siberia. And such solution for shipment may be of great interest at this time, especially for sawmills with a limited area.
New pellet mills are to be put into operation in autumn 2015, and the first pellets will be produced just by the beginning of heating season of main importing countries, which guarantees sales for mills from their start-up. Besides, entering new Asian markets (incl. South Korea, Japan) is also possible, as there is an evident tendency for increased consumption volume and import of pellets.
Against the common opinion on the issue described above one can say: well, they were in time, and now it is too late, as the ruble fell, bank interests increased, etc., however, it is never late to view as opportunities something that the other sees as obstacles.