On the pipe at Safin | Latest news The Moscow Post
31 January 2023

On the pipe at Safin

It seems that the players of the pipe market decided, finally, to "reason" with the owner of the ZTZ Denis Safin and forever get rid of the possible "counterfeit."

The Pipe Industry Development Fund (FRTP) proposed the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Industry and Trade to apply a new approach to the purchase of wide-diameter pipes for the country's gasification program. Market participants believe that such purchases should go through a single operator - Gazprom Gasification, or regional operators.

In fact, this is a proposal to centralize purchases and strengthen control over them. According to evil tongues, allegedly it can be associated with the incredible activity of one of the largest players in the industry - the beneficiary of the Zagorsk Pipe Plant (ZTZ) Denis Safin.

Why Safin and his business could stand across the throat of other market players - in the material of the correspondent of The Moscow Post.

Gazprom is a gas monopoly of Russia. And the industrialist Denis Safin has long been claiming the same role, a monopolist, only for the production and supply of wide-diameter pipes for this very Gazprom.

"On Short" with Gazprom

Today, ZTZ JSC has state contracts worth over 12 billion rubles. Most of them, and almost all - from the structures of Gazprom. At the same time, it is not completely clear where such huge funds go. After all, quite recently Safin's plant was tied to the English offshore Pipe Trade Limited.

Photo: Rusprofile.ru

It is located in London, in Britain, which with a high degree of probability can be involved in sabotage on the Nord Stream-2 pipeline. Pipes for which, with a high degree of probability, could supply structures of the same Safin. Rumor has it that the entrepreneur himself allegedly has been spending more time in the British capital for a long time, and not at all at production in Peresvet, Moscow Region.

Photo: Rusprofile.ru

However, from the founders of Pipe Trade Limited disappeared on the last day of 2021. Who now formally owns the enterprise is not completely clear, apart from confidence that Safin remains its key beneficiary.

At the same time, the same 2021 ended for the ZTZ almost a collapse in all financial indicators. Perhaps the reasons for the disappearance of the offshore should be sought in this. The net loss amounted to 1.5 billion rubles, revenue fell immediately by 8.5 billion rubles, the value of assets decreased by 1.5 billion rubles.

Didn't that money end up on the other side of the English Channel? But this applies to the production itself, the plant. And there is also a separate LLC "Zagorsky Pipe Plant," which carries out activities to manage financial and industrial groups, this is the Criminal Code of Safin's entire business. He is the direct owner and leader there.

Since 2014, the company has not had any revenue, only losses. At the end of 2021 - 107 million rubles, the value of assets - minus 268 million rubles. Where the money, with such state contracts, again, is not clear.

At the same time, Safin manages to actively expand his business, buying up everything that is bad. The last major acquisition of Denis Safin was the Orenburg plant Ural Steel, which ZTZ bought from Metallinvest Alisher Usmanov for an extremely impressive amount of $500 million.

This deal became almost the main one in Russian business in 2022. And again the question - where does the money come from, with such financial indicators? At the same time, Safin does not shy away from borrowing huge amounts from the state. For example, in 2019, he agreed with VTB State Bank on investments of 35 billion rubles in the creation of a new industrial cluster for the production of seamless pipes in the Central Federal District.

In any case, apparently, against the background of the deal with Usmanov right now, Denis Safin most likely does not have a large amount of free funds. Therefore, the initiative of the FRTP, which, among other things, will probably assume the enlargement of lots at the auction for the supply of pipes, will play against Safin. The larger the lot, the more you need to invest in production. On this and the calculation?

Egorov "will look after"

At the same time, the industrialist and his business can hardly count on serious subsidies from the state, because in the past he was pretty disgraced by this topic.

In 2017, he was placed under house arrest during an investigation related to suspected misuse of state subsidies in the amount of 133 million rubles. Safin himself stated that the amount went to repay the next loan to Sberbank. And as if he returned the money that he took from the state. As a result, the criminal case was closed, and Denis Safin was released from arrest.

But the bank unexpectedly restructured the debt, which is not typical for it, and postponed the payment for another year. Plus, he additionally credited ZTZ for another 1 billion rubles.

Then they said that another famous character, the famous lawyer Nikolai Egorov, could have intervened in the case. Until 2019, he was one of the beneficiaries of ZTZ, he can remain it now.

At one time, Mr. Egorov had shares in such large structures as "Status of Groups," "Crystal-Lefortovo," OFK Bank, Antipinsky Refinery. All these structures collapsed, ended up in bankruptcy. But Egorov every time turned out to be "out of business." However, the rumors were different. Including such that it was allegedly Egorov who contributed to the "descent on the brakes" of the criminal case on the misuse of the subsidy of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Egorov is called a person close to the high offices of power. Mr. Safin probably wants to be closer to power. And recently Egorov has been trying not to stick out. The case in the scandal with the so-called. "Paradise dossier" - a huge array of "leaked" information about offshore transactions of Russian and not only entrepreneurs.

Is Nikolai Egorov a great friend of Denis Safin? Photo: https://epam.ru

According to Versiya, Mr. Egorov is also mentioned in the array of documents during his entry into the capital of the Antipinsky Refinery. Subsequently, we repeat, bankrupt.

The wrong pipes

What kind of relationship Egorov and Safin have now, and whether they exist at all, is unknown. But it is very doubtful that the owner of the ZTZ would give up such a powerful ally. Rumor has it that he could shield Safin in the most unpleasant situations. Including in scandals with counterfeit and used pipes, which they tried to attribute to the production of Safin.

Market participants recall how the oil pipeline was actively built in the port of Ust-Luga on the sea coast of the Leningrad Region. It was built by Transneft, a company called Industrial Technologies was the contractor for the supply of large-diameter pipes.

And instead of new products from specialized plants, it supplied pipes that had already been used. Rust, old insulation were removed from them, possible defects were eliminated and fake markings were glued.

This kind of restoration was carried out by the "Insulation Pipe Plant." And this plant is included in the same group with Zagorsky Pipe Plant JSC. The president of the first plant was Galyalkhak Safin, the father of Denis Safin.

That scam was revealed, the amount of damage amounted to 4.5 billion rubles. A criminal case was opened. But his defendant was the Industrial Technologies company, and the Insulation Pipe Plant and Safins remained beyond suspicion. "Version" wrote about that story.

Safin has repeatedly tried to attribute the supply of old, low-quality pipes. Some market participants hinted at this, trying to find a justification for why ZTZ offers pipes at prices much lower than market prices - they say, by 13-15%. Isn't it because Safin has much lower "costs"?

To save their reputation, Safin's enterprises took an interesting step. In 2018, ZTZ loudly launched a "service for verifying the quality certificate of shipped products."

But this is more like outright PR, besides, not at all the first freshness. It is enough to recall the PR campaign of Pyaterochka stores, which allocated "freshness directors" to each store after repeated complaints from customers about expired products. Has there been less "delay" and has anyone seen these "freshness directors" at all?

Do pipe market players unite against Denis Safin and his "hegemony" in relations with Gazprom? Photo: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Сафин%2C_Денис_Галялхакович #/media/File: Denis _ Safin.jpg

However, for ZTZ it works. Safin continues to receive large contracts. And the centralization of purchases under the gasification program, apparently, should minimize these risks as well - the supply of used, or even simply counterfeit, low-quality pipes. Safin's hegemony - at least in relations with Gazprom, is the end coming?

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