Serdyukov is to take part in St. Petersburg roads repair
What it takes for a small road construction company to win a tender of 5 million rubles for the repair of St. Petersburg roads in a year and without bidding? Orion-plus, whose aggregate contract value in 2016 is five times greater than last year, knows a recipe for success. Apparently, its shareholders include the partners of former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov’s son-in-law.
Orion-plus has become the St. Petersburg Administration’s contractor for reconditioning of roads. The company had cooperated with the Administration before, since the 2000s; although, back then it had been entrusted with construction of small roads, or repair of small-scale facilities. According to SPARK, in 2008 Orion-plus was awarded with contracts for 240 million rubles, in 2010, the amount was 450 million rubles, and 215 million rubles in 2013. Quite modest amounts compared to the revenue of the market leaders.
According to Fontanka.ru, the fate first smiled upon the company in 2015, when it won a tender for road repair in the amount of one billion rubles. For reasons unknown, it was Orion-plus, to whom the Transport Construction Directorate entrusted the total renovation of Salov street for 315 million rubles, roadway replacement in Kurortny district for 235 million rubles, and connection of road to Hyundai Automobile Plant in Kamenka for 274 million rubles.
In 2016, Orion-plus has made a significant leap. According to SPARK system, the total value of the company’s orders has amounted to about 5 billion rubles.
Moreover, the previously unheard-of Orion-plus is among the selected companies that have been admitted to a non-competitive allocation of federal funds in the amount of one billion rubles. The fact is that in the summer of 2016, the St. Petersburg Administration got an extra billion rubles for road maintenance work. It distributed the money between three contractors without bidding. VAD CJSC received 400 million rubles for Sofiyskaya street repair; A-proekt got 80 million to repair Liteyny prospect, whereas Orion-plus was entrusted to renovate Ligovsky prospect for 180 million rubles and repair the roads in the Kirovsky district for 190 million rubles.
Fontanka.ru has learned that the sudden benevolence of the Committee for Transport Infrastructure Development towards the small road construction company owes to two factors. Up until March 2016, Orion-plus had a single owner, namely, a businessman Aleksey Vikharev. However, in spring, a St. Petersburg plant Stroymetalkonstruktsia OJSC acquired 55% shares of the company. Stroymetalkonstruktsia’s main shareholder is a certain Aleksandr Usov, Valeriy Puzikov’s companion and the husband of the former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov’ sister. It is known that together they are the owners of Avtokombalt. Another Avtokombalt owner is Artur Pozov. He is known for having been the registered owner of the infamous ministerial cottage Zhytnoe in the Astrakhan region.
Meanwhile, the Committee for Transport Infrastructure Development has said that contractors are selected on a competitive basis only. In turn, the Head of Transport Construction Directorate Vyacheslav Urusov has not responded to questions about Orion-plus.
Fontanka.ru notes that the story of Orion-plus is not the first time that Anatoly Serdyukov’s minions have furthered their interests in St. Petersburg. In June, Aleksandr Semchukov, who had previously worked in Usov and Pozov’s furniture selling group Soyuz, was appointed the head of the Property Relations Committee. After Anatoly Serdyukov started his career at the Federal Tax Service, Semchukov followed his example. In August this year, Serdyukov’s Leningrad Institute classmate Evgeny Vechko, who had previously held the position of Voentorg’s director, got the job as the first Deputy Head of the Real Estate State Inspectorate.