State Orders and Security Forces: What Is Known about Russian Company "Peton"?

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Recently news surfaced that a tender was won for the construction of a gas processing plant in Zhanaozen. According to the public fund Energy Monitor, the winner is the Russian company "Peton". looked into the matter.

Record Holder

The plant's construction in Zhanaozen has been a topic for discussion since 2021. Qasym-Jomart Towayev was the one that brought it to the fore front. The plant was initially planned to be opened in 2023, but construction has yet to begin. The deadlines for commissioning have shifted to 2026. Progress has now gone forward.

The contract amounts to 140.5 billion tenge without VAT. Three entities participated in the tender – two from Kazakhstan and one from the Russian Federation, - Energy Monitor's analysts have noted.

Among those vying for the contract: the Russian holding "Peton" (represented by a consortium of several organizations), as well as Kazakhstani companies – NGSK KazStroyService together with Bazis Construction and the Kazakhstani Institute of Oil and Gas, and Neftestroyservice LTD LLP with the Research and Design Institute of Oil and Gas. Peton emerged victorious. 

The company itself was founded back in 1990 in Ufa. Their main specialization is construction in the oil and gas industry. Peton's main customers had long been commercial oil companies – Tatneft, Lukoil, Sibur, etc.

As of 2016, Peton's main source of contracts has been state orders from Gazprom.

According to the reference list published on the company's website, it completed the first orders for Gazprom's divisions back in 2001. But since 2016, the gas monopolist has become the customer of the absolute majority of projects of the Ufa contractor.

Incidentally, in 2016, Peton achieved notoriety for concluding  the largest corporate contract in its history with Gazprom. Its amount: 53.3 billion rubles. Meanwhile, in 2017, Peton found itself on top of the Russian Forbes's "Kings of State Orders" rating. With Gazprom projects worth 176 billion rubles, the Bashkir company then bypassed firms owned by the Rotenberg family known for close ties to Vladimir Putin.

Security Forces

The company was founded in 1990 by scientist Igor Mnushkin. He was its sole owner until 2015. In 2015, however, Petron's shares were split up. A very peculiar person was thereby able to make an investment: former police general, Andrey Grankin.

Until the fall of 2017, he headed the Moscow department of the Rosgvardiya (National Guard of the Russian Federation). In December of the same year, he bought 20% of Peton's shares.

Questions about how the former general got the money made headlines in Russia but remained rhetorical.

Some Russian media also linked another security official with "Peton": the head of the main Department of Economic Security and anti-corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, Andrey Kurnosenko. The explanation given for the connection: Peton receives government orders without bidding. But this was not officially confirmed.

"Peton" was also indirectly connected to former Ukrainian politician and oligarch, Viktor Medvedchuk, Putin's loyal ally.

In 2021, it was the Bashkir company that bought the oil refinery in Novashkhtinsk from Medvedchuk's wife, Oksana Marchenko. This is the same refinery that was attacked by Ukrainian drones in June 2022.

RF and a little CA

The Peton company's website says that since 1990 it has implemented 170 projects. The vast majority of them, however, have been on the territory of Russia. The company has only two implemented foreign projects, both in Central Asia.

The first - a gas processing plant at the Dovletabad field in Turkmenistan in 2005. The second - the construction of an atmospheric tubular installation of unstable gas condensate at Kazakhstan's Karachaganak field in 2008. There is also a project for the construction of a propane-butane mixture plant in Uzbekistan, but it is listed as being in the implementation process.

There have been no other international projects in Peton's track record aside from the one in Zhanaozen, which Gazprom's main builders must complete in three years.

Original Author: Igor Ulitin

DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original post in Russian for accuracy.