Cargill became the majority (51%) owner of a joint venture with Neptune Port Holding B.V. brothers Yehor Hrebennikov and Andriy Stavnitser of M.V. Cargo LLC, a grain terminal Neptune with a design capacity of 5 million tonnes per year in Pivdenny port in the Black Sea.
“Neptune is meeting the growing demand for deep water port infrastructure in Ukraine by giving farmers access to new distant markets,” Cargill said in a statement on Friday.
The U.S. company said that in 2016 it signed an agreement with Stavnitser and Hrebennikov on the construction of the terminal, which started operation in 2019.
“Neptune is strengthening Cargill’s port infrastructure in the Black Sea region, therefore, we continue to invest in the agricultural sector of Ukraine,” Cargill said.
Neptune handles various types of grains and oilseeds, primarily maize, barley and wheat, with a depth of 16 meters at the terminal berth, which allows it to receive large-tonnage vessels. Cargill is an important user of the terminal, exporting a significant portion of the products purchased in Ukraine from it, but Neptune serves other customers as well.
“In short: Cargill had an obligation to enter the project, and we signed to bring the terminal to the level of Cargill’s space standards. Now Yehor and I are practically equal partners with the largest private food corporation in the world,” Stavnitser said on Facebook.
He said that in 2014, when the war broke out, an oil extraction plant in Donetsk was taken away from the U.S. investor, but Cargill was persuaded to make a new investment in Ukraine.
Stavnitser said that two years after the launch and in the process of completion, Neptune became grain terminal No. 2 on the Black Sea in terms of cargo turnover.
The statement does not contain information about the cost of the transaction. It is said that Cargill, as the majority shareholder, will lead the strategic development of the Neptune terminal, with a local team responsible for operational management.
The Black Iron Canadian mining company, which is implementing a project to create a new iron ore plant in Kryvy Rih (Dnipropetrovsk region), has chosen Cargill (the United States) with the right to purchase the first 4 million tonnes of production per year, which will provide financing for the project in the amount of $75 million.
According to the company’s press release on Monday, May 10, the agreement will be concluded subject to the completion of the due diligence of the project and the successful completion of negotiations.
“Cargill will offtake the production and extend financing of $75 million for the construction of the Project through a finance facility. Drawdown on this funding will be subject to certain conditions being met, as is customary for this type of transaction, mainly related to the Project being fully permitted and financed for construction. Black Iron and Cargill will now start work on definitive binding offtake and financing agreements which reflect the Proposal,” the company said in the press release.
It also clarifies that based on the proposal agreed between Black Iron and Cargill, the offtake agreement will be for an initial term of ten years and will include a profit-sharing component which will align the interests of both parties and thereby generate a strong interdependent relationship of benefit to both parties. On the profit share, Black Iron will receive 100% of the 65% iron content fines benchmark price, currently $230 per tonne, and share with Cargill a portion of the incremental sale price of its 3% higher (68%) iron content and low impurity magnetite product.
“Black Iron and Cargill Metals agree that, as the world is becoming more environmentally conscious it will naturally turn to ores with a higher iron content and in forms such as pellets/pellet feed that reduce emissions in the production of steel,” the company said in the press release.
At the same time, it is noted that the Black Iron’s planned 68% iron content magnetite pellet feed is in the top 4% of global production by iron content and is anticipated to reduce emissions generated in the production of steel by an estimated 30% as compared to the more commonly consumed 62% iron content hematite fines. It is envisaged that the high-quality product from the Shymanivske iron ore project will attract a premium price in a variety of markets.
Black Iron’s CEO Matt Simpson said: “Black Iron received several offtake and investment proposals and chose Cargill based on its proposal striking the optimal balance of investment quantum, structure and shared vision on the increasing demand for high-grade ore as the global ferrous industry is shifting to become greener.”
“Cargill brings tremendous value not only in strengthening the project funding with a $75 million financing facility but, more importantly, its global network and local footprints, unique industry insight and successful experience in the technical marketing of high-grade ore to customers around the world,” the company’s CEO said.
In turn, in the press release, the company quotes the words of Lee Kirk, Managing Director of Cargill Metals, who announced his readiness to help finance the Black Iron’s Shymanivske Project.
“A relationship with Black Iron would be an excellent fit with Cargill Metals’ growth strategy to develop a high-grade and CO2 reducing iron ore portfolio, to help customers navigate the environmental and carbon challenges and opportunities ahead, and to support the sustainability efforts and low carbon ambitions of the ferrous industry,” the top manager said.
According to the attached certificate, Cargill has operated in Ukraine since 1991 with offices in several cities to support its more than 500 in-country employees. Cargill’s main Ukraine businesses are in the agricultural sector and include a deep-sea vessel terminal at Port Yuzhny close to the terminal Black Iron plans to use to ship its iron ore.
The selection of Cargill as Black Iron’s preferred offtake purchaser has triggered the following activities to bring the Project to a fully financed state for construction: update of the Project’s feasibility study will commence upon receipt and review of proposals already requested; selection and negotiation of binding terms with the preferred engineering, procurement and construction contractor who proposes to invest $65 million in the Project; commencement of third-party due diligence with a consortium of major international financial institutions on binding agreements for senior debt, $100 million royalty investment and political risk insurance.
The above activities will be supported by the outputs from the environmental impact assessment and Ukraine land transfer work currently ongoing which were previously announced.
Ukraine will attract a loan from Cargill Financial Services International, Inc. in euros in the amount of up to EUR 250 million, the loans will bear interest at a rate of 5.95% per annum for contracts with maturity in three years and 6.85% for contracts with maturity in five years.
According to resolution No. 717 of the Cabinet of Ministers dated August 17, posted on the government portal, interest income will be paid on a quarterly basis.
The document notes that state external borrowings are carried out within the framework of the law on the national budget for 2020.
The government of Ukraine has instructed the Ministry of Finance to attract two loans from Cargill Financial Services International, including EUR100 million for two years at 5.15% per annum and EUR150 million for five years at 6.25% per annum.
According to Cabinet resolution No. 651 of July 10, published in the Uriadovy Kurier newspaper, interest income will be paid quarterly.
The document notes that state external borrowing is carried out within the framework of the law on the national budget for 2019, other details are not available.
As reported, Ukraine in the middle of June of this year placed the issue of seven-year eurobonds worth EUR1 billion on the foreign loan market at 6.75% per annum. This was the first sovereign issue of Ukrainian eurobonds in euros in the last 15 years. The demand for it exceeded the supply by 6 times.
According to the Ministry of Finance, investors from the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and other European Union countries bought most of the eurobond issue: their share was 32%, 27%, 17% and 13% respectively. Investors from Switzerland bought 7% of the issue, while the share of investors from Asia was 4%.
The grain terminal of Cargill and MV Cargo in Yuzhny port (Odesa region), whose capacity will total 5 million tonnes of grain per year, and the cost is estimated at $150 million, could by the end of 2018 transfer the first one million tonnes of grain, the co-owner and CEO of TIS Port, Andriy Stavnitser, has said. “We plan to launch the MV Cargo terminal in summer and I hope we will handle one million tonnes by the end of the year. I will be superstitious, I will not voice the date. But we are doing everything to launch it in summer. Whether it will be June or August I cannot say: construction in Ukrainian realities is a thing not always predictable,” he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
According to Stavnitser, from the point of view of construction itself, everything is proceeding well: the dredging has been completed, the filling of the pier with sand is being carried out, and then hydraulic engineering construction will begin.
As reported, Cargill (the United States), the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority and MV Cargo LLC in August 2015 signed a tripartite memorandum of intent to implement an investment project in Yuzhny port. Its launch was scheduled for 2017.